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Bharti's final retail plans within 2 months: Mittal

According to Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal, the company is expected to announce its final plans before April-end.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2008 10:42 IST
Sunil Batra
Sunil Batra

Bharti Enterprises, which had last year announced a $2.5-billion investment for its retail venture, is expected to announce its final plans, including that of opening of the first store, within the next two months.

"You can hear from us on the final concrete plans before April-end," Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal told PTI on the sidelines of 'GSM World Congress' in Barcelona.

Asked when and where, the first store of Bharti Retail would be opened, he declined a specific answer but said: "It will be in North India." Mittal denied that there was any delay in rolling out plans of Bharti Retail saying: "This takes time."

The announcement of the final plans is also expected to end speculation over branding of the front-end store of Bharti Retail on whether it would carry the name of Wal-Mart.

Bharti Enterprises had commissioned a consumer response study to decide on the same, but it has not so far finalised the report.

The company had inked a 50:50 joint venture agreement with world's biggest retailer Wal-Mart for cash-and-carry business last year.

The JV is expected to open its first wholesale facility by the end of this year, with 10-15 such stores being planned to be opened in the next seven years.

The group had announced that it would launch its retail outlets in multiple formats, including hypermarkets and supermarkets, from the first quarter of 2008.

It planned to partner local store owners for the smaller format convenience stores through franchise model.

The company is aiming to earn around 5 billion dollars by 2015 from its retail initiative.