New Delhi: Government is putting pain taking efforts to make people aware of the benefits of allowing entry of World’s number one retail giant, Wal-Mart, in India. But such big players of retail sector are being vehemently opposed not only in India but also in United States of America where mega retail company has evoked a lot of protests against expansion of its trade.  

Surprisingly, the retail giant has been witnessing protests launched by local people of New York against its plan to open its first mega store. However, the company already has six small stores in the city.

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Wal-Mart has set up a shopping-centre in eastern part of the city, reports the New York Times. Its yearning to broaden the network via megastores in New York had to be abandoned last week, owing to protests by local unions and council members. Experts say that it is largely the business model that the company follows that has kept it away from the big cities. The firm has established more than 4, 000 stores across the United States, though only a handful in big cities.

This is not the first time that Wal-Mart is facing hurdles in setting up megastores in cities like, New York, Washington and San Francisco. It has been striving hard to set up stores since 2007, but efforts went in vain. An anti-Wal-Mart group named ‘Wal-Mart free New York City’ has also been set up to protest against the retail giant. The group’s spokesperson Stephanie Yazgi has deemed that the company’s pulling out from the city states that its business model is failing to impress the people. Those opposed to it say that Wal-Mart provides poor wages and perks to its employees. However, its lower costs are aimed at hurting smaller retail shops and profits likewise.

Promoting the brand’s entry in Indian market, Manmohan Singh-led UPA government has defended the FDI go-ahead by terming it as farmer-friendly. Agriculture analyst, Devinder Sharma is of the view that though organised retail has gained momentum in the West, it has failed to spur farmers’ growth. Had it been actually ‘farmer-friendly’, the agriculture sector of those nations would have not been dependent on heavy government subsidies.

Wal-Mart on the other hand seems upbeat and has said that it would open its first store in India in next 18 months.

The company’s CEO and president Scott Price has said the company would approach the states that are keen to implement FDI in retail. Price did not mention the number of stores the company wants to open in India but Wal-Mart in a 50-50 joint venture with Bharti for 17 cash-and-carry business outlets would remain operating.

(JPN/Bureau)

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