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Reliance Retail to open more Fresh stores

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In keeping with its expansion plan, Reliance Retail is expected to open 252 new Fresh stores across the country by March next year as also to start “Rose”, a jewellery store modelled on Tanishq.

Of these 252, company sources said 200 are likely to be in Mumbai alone though no specific date has been finalized.

The sizes of Fresh stores may differ from place to place, they added. Currently Reliance Retail operates 372 Fresh outlets across the country.

As per the Macquarie research equities report, the retail major plans to have a total of 100m sq ft of retail space in 800 cities by calendar year 2010 and revenues of $22 billion by the end of financial year 2011.

Currently, the Fresh store sizes are in the 1100q ft and 7500 sq ft range depending on the location.

The company will have to restrict its store sizes to 1,000 sq ft in Mumbai considering the real-estate crunch and crowded landscape of neighbourhood stores in the city, according to market analysts.

They said Reliance Fresh stores could also be run on a franchise model in Mumbai considering the strong associations of small retailers in the city.

The Reliance Hyper mart (above 50,000 sq ft) also plans to spread its presence from 1 (in Ahmedabad) to 10 by the end of this financial year.

Similarly, there will be 26 mini-marts (10,000-50,000 sq ft) dotting the Indian retailscape by March 2008.

These mini-marts and hyper marts will also include speciality stores. Reliance has already bought 1 lakh sq ft in the crown interior mall in Haryana’s Faridabad to launch its home décor speciality store, sources said.

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