Speciality retail is now the buzzword at Reliance Retail Limited, the just over one-year-old retail venture of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the latest addition to which is going to be a jewellery retail standalone outlet that the company is planning to open around Diwali time, in Bangalore.
Speaking to Indiaretailing, a highly placed source at RIL said, “In the month of November, the company will launch two speciality retail formats – jewellery, and books and music.” The source added, “For the books and music retail format, the first store will be opened at Ambi Mall in Gurgaon. Two other stores are also being planned in quick succession, in Ahmedabad and Bangalore. However, the brand name of either of the formats was not forthcoming from the source at Reliance.
The plan at Reliance is that once a speciality retail outlet is opened, within a span of 3-4 months around 5-6 outlets in the same format are opened across the country, said the source. For the category of apparels and accessories, Reliance already opened its speciality store by the name of Reliance Trends in October this year. Company sources reveal that apart from organic growth, inorganic growth through acquisitions is also on the radar, as far as speciality stores are concerned.
The latest addition to speciality outlets at Reliance Retail has been that of Reliance Wellness, which opened in Hyderabad recently. In April this year, Reliance also opened its speciality outlet for consumer durables and information technology products, called Reliance Digital. “In the next one month, one more Reliance Digital will come up, above the Reliance Trends store in Ambi Mall at Gurgaon,” said the source.
“All the speciality formats in which Reliance is now opening standalone outlets are already present in our 165,000 square feet hypermarket (RelianceMart), which opened around mid-August in Ahmedabad,” said the source.
Industry watchers point out that with the food and grocery retail format of Reliance (Reliance Fresh) being stalled in the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala, the company has made a strategy to go full steam with the other retail formats. However, Reliance maintains that, with the exception of these three states, Reliance Fresh is going ahead with its overall expansion plan, in tune with its plan of opening 1,500 Reliance Fresh stores by 2010.
– Raja Ghoshal