German retail major Metro launches India operations

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 22 October 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: German trading and retailing major Metro Group on Monday launched its operations aimed at 'business customers' including small and medium-sized retailers amidst concerns by Bangalore Retailers Combine that it would use this as a backdoor entry into the prohibited retail trading.

The store was inaugurated amidst tight security as a small group of protesters were detained at the APMC yard a hundred metres away. Metro officials said a second store would be started in Bangalore next month, taking the total investment to Rs 176 crore in the two stores employing 750 people.

Asserting that the firm was not in the retail business, Metro Group chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Koerber told reporters that it was exclusively targeting business customers like small and medium sized retailers, restaurants as well as other businesses.

"By establishing a modern supply chain we also ensure that they are able to get their merchandise at the best prices possible, thereby making them more competitive in their market place," he said.

Asked if the protests were made by the wholesale lobby, Koerber said "yes".

However, Metro Cash and Carry India country manager and managing director Harsh Bahadur sought to allay fears that Metro was in race to eliminate middlemen, and said it was offering products at low prices due to improved efficiency in its supply chain and through cash and carry method.

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