12/05/2009

Sri Lanka's state-owned department stores emerge as a competitive market force

(December 05, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka's state-owned department store chain Lak Sathosa and Coop City have emerged as a competitive market force.

Sri Lanka Minister of Trade, Marketing Development Cooperative and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardhana says that the the turn over of the country wide chain of 132 Lak Sathosa branches last month was Rs. 765 million. He said that it will be increased to Rs. one billion by the end of the year.

The Ministry has planned to expand the Lak Sathosa department store network to 150 this year.

The neo-liberalist United National Party government that was in power since 2001 to 2004 had planned to sell out this department store chain to private sector. Minister Bandula Gunwardhana was in the cabinet that took the decision to Cooperative Wholesale Establishment. However, he later crossed over to the government of the President Mahinda Rajapakse and revived the network.

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