Wal-Mart’s First Indian Store

New Orleans The first rollout of a store in India from the fruit of the Bharti-Wal-Mart partnership is emiwalbharnent.  The Journal was trumpeting the in Amritsar in the Punjab scheduled for next Tuesday.  Word in India from Dharmendra Kumar, director of India FDI Watch Campaign is that they will have to “postpone…opening which was scheduled…as violence erupted in Amritsar and the rest of Punja over killing of religious leader in Vienna.”

The very gradual backdoor opening on the “cash and carry” wholesale model (what we know in the US as a Sam’s or Costco or Price Club style) hardly merits the who-hah in the business press. The president of Wal-Mart India, Raj Jain, indicated that they might open “as many as 15 stores nationwide in the next three years…”  Admittedly that is more than the 8 that they had announced in that period last year, but as North America’s know for Wal-Mart 5 stores a year is hardly a blip on the expansion and openings chart.

As the likely postponement also makes clear, this is still a decidedly uphill journey for smiley faced minions.  Even the Journal understands that beneath the press releases there is trouble, and we can guarantee them even more:

    “Mr. Singh and the more than 10 million other tiny retailers in India are Wal-Mart’s greatest challenge and greatest opportunity. If it can win them over, they are likely to become its biggest customers. Anger them and they could use their political power to block expansion.”

The fight may take on a new character, but this will continue to be a long struggle.

By the way, what kind of name is “Best Price Modern Wholesale?” Wow!  Business by committee should also be an interesting learning curve for Wal-Mart.

Meanwhile, the news is that Walmart has to postpone its opening which was scheduled for Tuesday as violence erupted in Amritsar and rest of Punjab over killing of religious leader in Vienna.

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