Reliance Retail Ltd (RRL) has drawn up ambitious expansion plans for the current year which includes diversifying into tourism and travel verticals, as also joining hands with railways for construction of warehouses on railway land as part of the company’s move to strengthen its supply chain.
“We plan to have verticals in travel and tourism in the current year as part of the expansion plan. We are also in talks with railways for construction of warehouses on railway land to enable strengthening of supply chain,” a spokesperson for the company told Indiaretailing.
“As we want to ensure that fresh food and grocery are supplied to our outlets, our joining hands with the railways coupled with the move to use our aviation wing for transporting fresh supplies would strengthen the supply chain, which is very essential in this sector,” the spokesperson explained.
At present, the company’s retail verticals like Reliance Fresh, Ranger Farms (agri and farm produce vertical), Reliance Dairy Foods Limited, Reliance Digital (consumer durables and information technology), Reliance Mart (hypermarket), Reliance Trendz (apparel store), Reliance Wellness (wellness products), Reliance Footprint (footwear store), Reliance Jewels (jewellery store), and Reliance Timeout (books, music, stationery, toys and gifts store) are into direct retail business.
Another area that Reliance Retail is viewing is selling meat, which is not done in any of its outlets.
“Being a sensitive area, we had refrained from selling meat at our outlets. However, now there are plans for selling meat at our outlets and for this, there is need to have a separate section, and the company is working on it. We want to ensure it does not hurt the feelings of other customers who come to our outlets,” the spokesperson said.
Another area that the company is looking into is to have mobile vans, but as the spokesperson said, “it is the last mile of our plans.”
“As of now, we are looking at various verticals to be launched before we decide to go in for having mobile vans,” he said.
The RRL spokesperson was optimistic that the opposition to retail may simmer down in the wake of positive statements by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
“These clearly indicate that things are moving in the positive direction and the new year will definitely be a good one for retail,” the spokesperson said.
Currently, the company operates more than 430 Reliance Fresh stores in various cities. During the initial months after its announcement to enter the retail business, Reliance had said that it planned to open more than 6,000 stores – a mix of hypermarkets, speciality stores and fresh-produce stores – at an investment of Rs 25,000 crore over five years.
– Sri Krishna