Bharti-Walmart to open first cash-and-carry store

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New Delhi, Feb 20: The cash-and-carry joint venture of Wal-Mart and Bharti Enterprises is expected to open its first facility by December and Walmart has no problem in not using its brand name for the stores.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc Vice Chairman Michael T Duke told reporters here today that it will have no problem in not using the Wal-Mart brand name for the cash-and-carry stores. To expedite matters and to get a first hand understanding on the progress of Wal-Mart's joint venture with Bharti Enterprises for a cash-and-carry venture that will serve retailers, manufacturers and farmers Mr Duke and Wal-Mart Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Rollin Ford are in India.

The venture will provide retailers -- kirana stores, fruit and vegetable resellers, restaurants and other business owners -- with a wide range of quality products at competitive wholesale prices that will help them enhance their businesses and profitability.

''As we've studied the existing supply chain infrastructure in India we have been amazed by what we have learned," Mr Duke said.

''It's a system that works. Yet, there is a need for increased efficiencies that can help minimise wastage, particularly of fresh foods and vegetables,'' he added.

He said that the company's goal is to work with the country's existing supply chain infrastructure and improve efficiency to minimise wastage and maximise value for farmers and manufacturers as well as retailers.

''We can help cut the waste, not the middlemen who can play a very important part in the entire supply chain.'' The venture is expected to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities and employ approximately 5,000 people over the next seven years.

A typical facility will stand between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet and sell a wide range of fruits and vegetables, groceries and staples, stationery, footwear, clothing, consumer durables and other general merchandise items to retailers.


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