Monday, May 18, 2009

Wal-Mart steps up hiring ahead of India launch

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has stepped up hiring of retail executives as it prepares to launch its cash & carry operations in India over the next three to four weeks.

Bharti-Walmart Private, the joint venture formed for the cash & carry operations, has recently hired 150 retail executives as it plans to open its first store in Amritsar.

"We have hired over 150 people to work at our Best Price Modern Wholesale store. We will continue to create jobs and employment as our operations grow," said Arti Singh, Wal-Mart's spokesperson. "Around 100 people came on board during the last four months," said an official close to Wal-Mart, who did not want to be named. Faced with declining footfalls and sales, Indian retail majors have been cutting down on employees, especially those who manage the outlets.

Wal-Mart has hired executives to manage stores after putting in place the top management team. The Bentonville-based giant has already roped in Craig Wimsatt, who had been with the retail giant's global operations, to head the cash & carry operations.

While Wimsatt is the chief operating officer, Arvind Mediratta is the head of business. "It has been internally communicated that the launch will happen by month-end. We are now putting the merchandise in place," said the official close to developments at Wal-Mart.

Bharti-Walmart had announced that its self-service wholesale stores would be called "Best Price Modern Wholesale." They will sell food and non-food products mainly to institutional clients such as hotels and restaurants.

Wal-Mart has also trained 600 people at its training center — Bharti Wal-Mart training center — in Punjab. At a later date, some of them could be deployed in stores.

"The Bharti Wal-Mart Training Centre in Amritsar has had over 1,500 walk–in candidates, and more than 900 have enrolled so far. Of these more than 60 have been employed for our Best Price Modern Wholesale store," said Singh.

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