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Govt persuading Bharti to allocate space for handicrafts
Aug '11
In its effort to improve the upmarket visibility of handloom and handicraft items, the Central Government is holding talks with Bharti Retail to convince the latter to provide some space in its retail outlets.

Speaking on the sidelines of an exhibition – 'Colours of Teej', Textiles Secretary Rita Menon stated that Bharti Retail has posed some queries which hopefully would be resolved soon and handloom and handicraft items might get space on some shelves in Bharti's retail outlets.

She further stated that all leading retail chains in the country including Shoppers Stop and Pantaloons were given invitation to participate in the buyer-seller meets that are organized by the respective Development Commissioners for handicrafts and handlooms.

A fully owned subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises, Bharti Retail has set up over 122 neighbourhood outlets under the 'Easyday' brand in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab.

In addition to this, the subsidiary even manages 11 compact hypermarkets dubbed as 'Easyday Market' in States like Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Moreover, the Group has also collaborated with Walmart for launching retail outlets. The first such cash and carry joint venture outlet was launched by Bharti-Walmart in 2009 in Amritsar in Punjab.

The Textiles Secretary further stated that the handlooms and handicraft sectors are confronted with issues like absence of organized supply chain and lack of standardization of specifications.

She added that the Development commissioner for Handlooms and Development Commissioner for Handicrafts are trying to resolve these problems.

She expressed hope that the 12th Five Year Plan may possibly incorporate some features to boost tie-ups with private retail sector.

While the handicrafts industry serves a source of livelihood for around seven million artisans, the handloom industry provides employment to 2.377 million artisans.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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