The growing realty prices may see the world's biggest retailer Wal-Mart shifting from its global policy of owning its stores. According to sources, Bharti-Wal-Mart is exploring other models, including long-lease and rentals. Meanwhile, Bharti-Wal-Mart has taken close to 1.5 lakh sq ft of retail space at Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bengalooru, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh, among others. Mr Sunil Mittal is leveraging group company Bharti Realty to tie up real estate and the company has learnt to have formulated a two-pronged strategy."In small cities, it would prefer owning hypermarkets and in large ones, opt for long-lease of properties since there's acute shortage of quality commercial real estate. However, according to industry experts, even this wouldn't cater the growing demand. Experts say, Bharti-Wal-Mart will have to divert focus to smaller cities, while having a symbolic presence in metros.
The Economic Times New Delhi Edition January 29 2007

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