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article imageHaagen Dazs Bans Indians From Delhi Store?

By Erin Jackson     Dec 15, 2009 in Food
A controversial banner outside of a Haagen Dazs outlet in Delhi suggests that Indians were banned from entry to the store.
Early Internet reports featuring the sign outside the first Haagen Dazs in Delhi, which says "Access restricted only to holders of International passports" has raised ire with several websites, namely boingboing.net, which claims that the ice cream store was effectively banning Indians from entry. The claim is based on the writer's friend (presumably an Indian) being refused entry to the store.
Closer examination of the sign suggests that limiting access to holders of international passports was more likely a poorly thought out promotional strategy. The top of the banner reads "Partied at the French Riviera? Welcome" and the bottom (just before the note about international passport readers) reads "Exclusive preview for international travellers," which may mean that the store was giving tourists a jump on the local crowds before the store opened to the masses, as well as playing up on the super premium ice cream's imported status.
Haagen Dazs is even more of a luxury in India than it is in North America. Previous to the store opening in Delhi, it has only been sold in exclusive, high-end stores. According to The Economic Times, Haagen Dazs is planning to open a combination of large-format cafes and smaller kiosks, with 30-40 outlets nation-wide over the next few years.
According to boingboing, the manager (who is Indian) has now dropped the policy and is claiming it never existed. The store is now open to all customers.
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