Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wal-Mart eyes '08 launch for India stores

The evil Walmart has expanded again. This time rolling into the Middle-Eastern country of India. Celebrate the occasion by purchasing some cheap pens from

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to launch joint-venture wholesale stores in India by the middle of 2008 and expand to 75 cities in five to seven years, Indian media reported Thursday.

Wal-Mart (Charts, Fortune 500) expects to sign an equal joint venture with India's Bharti group for a cash-and-carry venture in a few weeks, the Mint daily quoted Wal-Mart's president for emerging markets, Rahul Jain, as saying in New Delhi.

The Indian group, which controls India's top mobile service firm Bharti Airtel Ltd., has a wholly owned front-end retailing venture, Bharti Retail Ltd., and plans to spend $2.5 billion by 2015 to set up hypermarkets, supermarkets and other stores across India.

The Business Standard quoted Jain as saying the wholesale joint venture would cut prices of agricultural products 10 to 15 percent, electronic goods 5 to 7 percent, and television sets and refrigerators up to 25 percent.