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Reliance takes 30,000 sq ft space in Connaught Place to open a state-emporium like handicraft store

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Reliance Retail’s Swadesh, the artisan-only store format, will compete directly with state emporiums and sell artisanal products including agriculture and food products, handlooms, clothing, textiles and handmade natural product

New Delhi: Reliance Retail has taken a 30,000 sq ft space in New Delhi’s Connaught Place to open a handicraft and artisan items retailing format that will compete directly with the state emporiums located in the vicinity, two sources with knowledge of the plans said.

Reliance Retail has taken the space in E Block of New Delhi’s central business district of Connaught Place to roll out its Swadesh format there, one of the persons said.

The upcoming Swadesh store is at a stone’s throw distance from the State Emporia Complex on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, that is home to various stores including the Kashmir emporium famous for its shawls.

The Tamil Nadu emporium sells the popular bronze lamps and icons of Poompuhar while the Karnataka emporium is popular among tourists and shoppers for their exquisite silks. Similarly, there are other state emporiums from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal among many other states.

In April, Reliance Retail announced its entry into the artisan-only store format Swadesh to sell artisanal products including agriculture and food products, handlooms, clothing, textiles, handicrafts and handmade natural products and the likes.

Reliance Retail said its Swadesh venture is partnering with various government undertakings and state governments and it has already signed an MoU with the Ministry of Textiles to undertake sourcing of authentic crafted products, directly from artisan communities.

Reliance Retail did not respond to an email seeking comment on the Connaught Place space.

In April, while announcing the format, Reliance Retail had said it plans to take the Made in India artisan products to international markets.

“In a strong boost to its ‘Handmade in India’ programme, Reliance Retail today announced that it is embarking on several new initiatives aimed at showcasing authentic handcrafted products and promoting the rich Indian art forms globally,” Reliance Retail had said in April.

“The initiatives are designed to help revive various traditional Indian art and craft forms, provide sustainable livelihood for hundreds and thousands of artisans and craftsmen in the ecosystem and present a new platform to take the timeless Indian crafts to consumer across the world.”

The second person quoted above said that the New Delhi store would only open early next year, and Reliance Retail is scouting for space to open more stores of the format in other cities. He said the New Delhi outlet may not be the first Swadesh store to be rolled out.

In November 2022, IndiaRetailing reported that Reliance Retail was looking at launching the store of its premium fashion & lifestyle brand AZORTE at Nexus Seawoods Mall, Navi Mumbai. Click here to read more.

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