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• Wal-Mart is scheduled to hold a new conference in New Delhi, India, this morning that will announce a formal joint venture with Bharti Enterprises that will lead to the development of a chain of cash-and-carry stores there. In the short term, the plan is for about a half-dozen units in the northern and western region of the country, but eventually is expected to expand to a multitude of formats throughout the country.

The deal between Wal-Mart and Bharti has been public knowledge for some time, but a formal announcement has been delayed because of India’s restrictions on foreign investment in the nation’s retail sector. The New York Times writes this morning that “India's retail industry, valued at nearly $350 billion, is forecast to double in size by 2015, with modern retail's share of that also quickly increasing from about 3 percent now.

“The opening up of the fragmented industry, which is dominated by family-run shops, has triggered political concerns and protests by small shop owners who fear massive job losses.”
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