Spencer’s shop opened in Kolkata

July 7th, 2008 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 7 (IANS) Three days after its inauguration was stalled by agitating hawkers, RPG Group’s retail arm Spencer’s opened its hyper mall in the southern part of the city Monday. “We have opened the store. We expect the store to do very well and surpass all our internal benchmarks,” said Praveen Dalal, vice-president, operations of Spencer’s.

The opening followed several rounds of negotiations between the company and the hawkers. “We have arrived at an agreement on some of the suggestions given by the hawkers. Rest of the proposals are being evaluated,” he said.

Dalal said the opening went peacefully and there was no resistance from the hawkers.

A large group of protesters Friday gathered in front of the hypermarket, located in a busy market zone, raised slogans and burned promotional pamphlets to successfully stop the inauguration.

They said the store could not sell goods that the hawkers sell in their shops, and added that nobody would be allowed to construct any retail mall within two kilometres of the area, which has a high hawker density.

Dalal said: “We understood that the problem occurred due to lack of knowledge about our business model. There is no conflict of interest between our business and that done by the hawkers as far as the product offering, customer base and merchandising are concerned”.

“We do not sell anything which is priced less than Rs.300 in men’s and women’s fashion wear,” he said.

Spencer’s has products ranging from food, apparel, fashion, electronics, lifestyle products, and music to books.

Spencer’s is targeting Rs.20 billion sales turnover by the end of the current financial year.

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