Having read and heard all the hype around Walmart’s cash and carry route into the Indian market with Bharti, two colleagues and I decided to check out their spanking new Best Price outlet at village Paragpur on NH1 between Jalandhar and Phagwara in Punjab.

It is a large swanky building with huge branding that prominently displays the word “Wholesale” – which has not deterred hordes of families trooping in for some “new kind of mall” experience (Viva Collage mall is next door). A “wholesale cash n carry” concept is alien out here (oye!! ay ki hai??)

Of course, they, and we, are stopped at the entrance, saying we need a Membership Card to get in. Turns out, Membership is only available if you are a retailer, which means you have to show certain documents (Sales Tax, Registration, etc) before you can enter the mother ship, and take off with goodies at wholesale prices, to further sell them to customers at retail prices, keeping your margin, and paying up the requisite taxes to the government.

Hmm. The only claim to being a retailer I can make, is the fact that my grandfather and his father before that, owned one of the largest retail outfits in north India way back in the early 1900s. So we did the next best thing we could do as good Indians – we made some calls and tada – we were inside in ten minutes!

Now the place is massive by Indian standards, but puny by international standards of even malls and places like Ikea. But the products and prices on offer were very impressive. From a considerable thousands of rupees on air-conditioners and shoes (yep, thousands on shoes!) to a few hundreds on everything, including good brands of shirts. I was of course, disappointed by the tiny margins on my favorite Gillette Mach 3 razor blades.

But hey, who am I kidding – our contacts may have got us inside, but they couldn’t get us to be able to shop 🙁

But that was not the case with the other Pappaji, Mummiji, and chota Pintu and Montu who were inside – with Membership Cards. They were all around the place, as were other aunties with bachchas, buying a jhadu, one pair of shoes, some tee shirts, and of course, sabzis.

Funny, out of the hundred odd people in the place, no one seemed to be really buying “whole sale”. They seemed to be just treating themselves to “great products at great bargain prices” without the bargaining!

Unless they were just buying “samples” and would come back later and pick up 5000 jhadus and 2 quintals of tamatar.

Trick or treat, only time will tell.

But at the time of exiting the place I noticed our parking ticket serial number was 648, and the parking attendant clarified it started at 001 with the opening the day before.

On a busy highway in the heart of vibrant Punjab, is that a good figure for visitors on day 1 & 2? Go figure.

PS: Noshtradamus has nothing to do with Bharti Walmart or Best Price. We are neither their representatives, consultants, pr, advertising, digital or any kind of communication agency. Nor are we their help desk. So we cannot answer any questions related to them, their operations, or anything else to do with them. To know more about them, I suggest you look here.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Sir, very interesting observations you are making. I think bsides saving consumers money Bestprice is making us all proud in the Punjab. Balle-balle Bharti Walmart!!!

  2. Just curious to see how this impacts business at Viva Collage which is next door and Ansel Plaza(much smaller mall) just down the street. As for Bharti/Walmart, they should get the required permits to sell directly to public instead of just selling to retailers, otherwise its just a waste of prime real estate(bang on GT Road).

    • Hello Anubhav,

      Sorry, but I do not have the number of BestPrice, as we have nothing to do with them. I have only given a perspective of what I saw and felt when I visited the outlet in Jalandhar.

      But you can read more about the outlet here

      Or search the web for the number… I couldn’t find it. And the Bharti website is quite unhelpful 🙁

      Noshtradamus

  3. Sir,
    I want to know how can we get the membership card in best price. What documents they needed and how much time to make that.

    • Hi Sakshi,

      I have nothing to do with BestPrice. I just made my observations as a marketing professional and a curious individual.

      All I know is they need proof that you own some kind of retail business and then the process is simple. But sorry, I cannot help you with the rest of the details.

  4. i don,t know about wallmart,today we are going wallmart jallandhar. we have not know wallmart . your employes not proper dealing with ourself,but i m interesting ur wallmart.so,pls Help me how can i ur member.kindly reply

  5. sir,
    i m partner of big company but we don’t get our registration certificate
    i want to be a coustmer of best prise could you tell me the other formalities of document.
    thanx

    • sir,
      i want to know how can we get membership card in best price.what documents they needed and how much time to make that .please reply thanx

  6. I Naser Hossain working as a Area Sales Manager in publication house at Jalandhar, Punjab, i am very much eager to make card of your Best Prise, but i could not because i am not a Retailer or Businessman, my sugesssion is that if you can give us a Card with a Limit so, you can get more customer.

    • Gaurav – we are not Bharti-Walmart. I am just a writer who visited the place and wrote about it!

      (Note to myself: Do I need to re-look at my written communication skills..?)

  7. can we get the membership card on behalf of PAN No. and all instead of TIN no./VAT No.
    plz any body who knows this reply me

  8. Dear sir,

    i want to address of this mall in delhi and jaipur also . kindly reply as soon as possible

  9. I can understand that you are not part of Bharti-Walmart. Even then I am curios to know what happens when someone buy the goods in some other’s membership and personally use it, without selling it. Do they inform the Tax department that a member has purchased a good from them and they need to pay taxes? There must be some catch otherwise why so many people are purchasing goods for personal consumption.

    • thanks Neeraj, for not burdening me with “sending you a membership card” 😉
      but seriously, i’ve wondered about the same thing. i don’t have an answer. but i guess as long as you get stuff at lower, wholesale prices, people will simply line-up and not think about the implications…

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