Kirana stores to continue operations despite entry of retail MNCs in India

Written by Swarleen Kaur | Chandigarh | Updated: Jan 28 2010, 03:45am hrs
Despite registering handsome initial success with over 35,000 primary members at its cash-and-carry wholesale store at Amritsar, Bharti Walmart agrees that supply chains in India are very complex and take a long time to evolve. Hence, the traditional kirana stores will co-exist in the country for years.

Responding to queries from FE, a company spokesman said organised retail has a very small share in the market today, at a mere 5%. What makes the company hopeful is that given the current growth rates, India has the potential to be one of the largest retail markets in the world within a decade.

A senior company official said India is one of the largest organic growth markets in the world. India has a growing middle class and a growing consumer attitude. Consumers in India are now beginning to appreciate the modern shopping experience and the company believes it can play an important role towards enhancing this experience, he said.

The company is expected to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities and employ approximately 5,000 people in the next three years. Officials say the company's successful experience in Amritsar has shown that there is clearly a demand gap for B2B services.

Over the next three years, Bharti Walmart plans to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities.

We are now in the process of opening more stores in the state as we expand our wholesale cash-and-carry network. Punjab is a great market and is full of unexplored opportunities, besides acting as a hub for various other places, he said.