India's Bharti group and Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, opened their first cash-and-carry joint venture store in Amritsar on Saturday on an investment of $7 million, and are planning to open at least 15 stores in the next three years.
The stores will be run under the brand name of Best Price Modern Wholesale.
"This is a beginning and we will come up with 15 more stores in the next three years. We have already tied up with 30,000 retailers and 8,000 suppliers and expect more to join us," said Bharti Enterprises vice chairman and managing director Rajan Bharti Mittal.
"About 80 percent of our suppliers are from Punjab, we will set up our next store in Ludhiana," Mittal said after inaugurating the outlet in this pilgrim town. "Each store will require about $7 million. This does not include the land price."
According to him, the Amritsar store, spread over about 10,000 square feet, will provide 200 direct and 500 indirect jobs.
The two companies had earlier planned to open the store May 26 but this had to be deferred on account of the violence that erupted in Punjab after the killing of a spiritual leader in Austria.