New Delhi: The world's largest retail chain, Wal-Mart, said it has hired a company in India for undertaking quality control of its sourcing business and has no plans to cut down sourcing from here for its international operations.
The company had closed it offices in Mumbai and Delhi over past one year, leading to assumptions that the Bentonville (Kentucky)-based company was on way to reducing sourcing from India.
"As a part of our efforts to achieve an efficient and
effective supply chain, Wal-Mart consolidated and centralised
certain functions in India ... As a result, we closed our
offices in Mumbai last year and in Delhi this June," a company spokesperson told reporters.
"These decisions should not affect local sourcing volumes
in India," she added.
The spokesperson said Wal-Mart has engaged a third party
service provider to conduct inspection of merchandise and
plans to focus internally more on merchandise development
and quality assurance.
The company is present in India through a joint venture,
Bharti Wal-Mart, with Bharti Retail in the wholesale
It had recently introduced its global private labels in
India and is now looking at enhancing the portfolio, the
Wal-Mart's private labels are available through Bharti
Retail's large format stores 'Easyday'. It already sells eight
such brands in India through Bharti's stores.
"We are constantly working towards enhancing our private
label portfolio," the spokesperson said, without providing
further details of brands or target sales.
The spokesperson said private labels account for 13-15
percent of the total sales at the Easyday supermarkets.
"Private label is a very intrinsic and important part of
good retailing and wholesaling ... (They) provide us with the
opportunity to work directly with the manufacturers and bring
quality products at lower prices," the spokesperson said.
Wal-Mart's eight brands introduced in India -- Great
Value, Aircare, Equate, George, Astitva, Home Trends,
Mainstays, Kid Connection and Athletic Works -- cover segments
from food to personal care products and from sports items to
apparels and furnishings.
An email query sent to Bharti Retail remained unanswered.
The JV company, Bharti Wal-Mart, had opened its first
business-to-business wholesale store at Amritsar in May this
The company plans to open 10-15 of these 'Best Price
Modern Wholesale' stores across the country in next three
First Published: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 12:43