Reliance Retail is expected to roll out wholesale trade outlets (or cash-and-carry) by next year, around the same time when Bharti-Wal-Mart begins operations.
“Cash-and-carry is second priority for us. Our first priority is the front-end business – the grocery stores, hypermarkets and speciality stores for consumer electronics. However, we will open our first cash-and-carry outlet next year,” clarified Bijou Kurien, president and chief executive, Lifestyle, Reliance Retail.
As of now, the company continues to focus on its existing roll-out strategy under which it has opened around 250 retail stores till date.
Earlier this month, Bharti and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, announced their 50:50 joint ventures for opening 10-15 cash-and-carry outlets. These outlets will sell fresh produce, groceries, stationery, footwear and apparel.
Seeing the competition in these categories from such biggie entering business, Reliance Retail is also planning to sell similar goods at their cash-and-carry outlets and is expected to invest up to Rs 25,000 crore in the first phase.
Cash-and-carry outlets are for the business-to-business segment. Firms having sales tax certificate can make purchase at these stores. This category of outlets is primarily for people in the business of retail, including retailers, fruits and vegetables resellers, and hospitality industry (restaurants and hotels).
Reliance is also planning a lifestyle store in New Delhi in the next few months.
“The store will have a variety of categories such as perfumes, cosmetics and books. These stores will be interactive and target the youth,” Kurien added.
Subsequently, the lifestyle stores will move to other cities and will be visible in malls and high streets, and will retail mid to premium brands.