Thursday, July 16, 2009

India's 1st Wal-Mart Draws Excitement, Not Protest

WASHINGTON POST -- The arrival of the world's largest retailer in one of the world's largest marketplaces has brought more praise than protest. In recent weeks, crowds have swarmed the store, located on the Grand Trunk Road, the ancient and fabled trade route that stretches across India and into Pakistan.

They all want to get a glimpse of the warehouse-like store and its neatly organized bulk packages of sugary fruit juice, flat-screen televisions and tubs of Indian sweets. Although Wal-Mart has occasionally been the subject of controversy in the United States, the store here -- BestPrice Modern Wholesale, a joint venture with India's Bharti group -- has drawn excitement and wonder.

To protect its smaller merchants, the Indian government has ordered that Wal-Mart sell only to wholesalers, as well as business owners and their families and friends, a move that has eased the tensions among the merchant associations and left-wing political parties. Business owners are allowed to grant access to the store to up to three friends and family members, and many others are clamoring to borrow membership cards for a chance to benefit from the low prices.


At 7/16/2009 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like a workable plan for NYC. The government friends and union members and their families would be permitted to shop at Walmart while the rest of us would be forced to shop at higher priced shops of the paymasters of the politicians and unions. Also Walmart could be strategically placed to be there in an emergency distribution capacity to make up for for government failure in this regard!

At 7/17/2009 1:26 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

To protect its smaller merchants...

...Bentonville shows its support for a License Raj.

I'm not sure that it's protest-free with respect to the locals, however. Wait until they figure out they've been played and grab out the popcorn.


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