New Delhi: The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has decided to go without its globally recognized brand name for business in India. Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt. Ltd, the 50:50 venture between the Bentonville, US-based retailer and Bharti Enterprises Ltd, will name its upcoming chain of cash-and-carry stores BestPrice Modern Wholesale, said the two partners in a statement issued on Monday.
Bharti Wal-Mart had said it was conducting a consumer research to figure out whether it should use the Wal-Mart brand for wholesale stores or use another name. Analysts said that given the increasing outcry against the US retailer’s entry into India, the two partners may decide to drop the Wal-Mart name in branding.
“I am not surprised under the current circumstances,” says Jayant Kochar, managing director of New Delhi-based consultancy Go Fish Retail Solutions. “It’s a safer route to take as they tend to invite publicity and attention wherever they (Wal-Mart) go.”
New name: Shoppers at a Wal-Mart store in Trevose, Pennsylvania, US. The retailer’s plan to enter India raised concerns among the vendors and wholesalers who feared job and income losses.
Wal-Mart’s plans to enter India had raised concerns among a section of people who argued that the entry of multinationals will mean job and income losses among traditional vendors and wholesalers, who form the backbone of India’s current retail business. Some also saw Wal-Mart’s proposed venture with Bharti as its back-door entry into India.
After years of lobbying with the government to allow it to set shops in India, Wal-Mart in 2007 teamed up with Bharti Enterprises for a cash-and-carry venture, an area where India allows up to 100% overseas ownership.
Meanwhile, Bharti Wal-Mart will roll out its first BestPrice store near Chandigarh later this year. BestPrice will sell up to 10,000 products from food to furniture, and the retailer has already started the process of enlisting business members, according to the statement. The store in Punjab will cater to about 65,000 retailers, restaurants, hoteliers and other businesses.
Bharti Enterprises also operates about two-dozen convenience stores called EasyDay outside this joint venture.