Around 20 people have been arrested after protests greeted the opening of Spencer's Retail's first hypermarket in the Indian state of Kerala.

Protests marred the opening in the city of Khozikode on Friday (14 December) leading Spencer's, India's largest supermarket chain, to insist it is not a threat to smaller traders.

"Spencer's has been operating in Kerala for the last 80 years and have never been a problem to small-scale retail. We will not undercut them now," senior vice president, operations Rumesh Menonn told just-food.

Spencer's, which runs 350 outlets under five different formats throughout India, has plans for two more hypermarkets and 20 more of its Spencer's Daily outlets in Kerala.

Protests have been a feature of India's fast-growing organised retail sector. Smaller, more traditional retailers fear the growth of Western-style retailers and have held fierce protests against expansion from the like of Reliance Retail.