Inside Reliance Retail’s plan to become a one-stop shop for everything
Reliance Retail aims to be one of the world’s top retailers, but for the last couple of years, it has been a buyer, not a seller. It has bought a string of retail brands from online pharmacy Net meds and online furniture retailer Urban Ladder to digital lingerie seller Zivame, online grocer MilkBasket and haute couture label Ritu Kumar. The latest acquisition was Sri Lankan lingerie brand Amante.
These acquisitions are crucial cogs in Reliance Retail’s further push into brick and-mortar and ecommerce, and are part of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) unit’s larger strategy: To break into the global top ten retailers. India’s largest retailer (by sales as well as by the number of stores) is currently ranked 53rd in the world, according to Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2021. Reliance Retail reported an annual revenue of $22 billion and a net profit of $750 million for the fiscal year ending March 2021.
At the same time, the company is looking beyond pure retailing. It’s pursuing a larger play to tap into the growing pie of the country’s overall consumption story from contract manufacturing to distribution of everything from affordable fashion and consumer electronics to grocery products in India’s $850 billion annual retail market that is expected to swell to $1.3 trillion in the next few years.
Analysts say Reliance’s overall plan is to engage India’s burgeoning consumers in its ecosystem one way or the other at any given point of time: shopping in its vast network of physical stores or on Jio Mart ecommerce platform, using Jio’s mobile or Wi-Fi networks, watch movies on jio Cinema paving through Jio wallet so on and so forth that it is dubbed by the petroleum-to telecommunications conglomerate as “retail plus” strategy.
“Their plan is to weave their products and services so deeply into your life that from morning to evening you are spending time and money on their networks either directly or indirectly,” says a top executive of an online grocery retailer. “Their idea is to constantly keep consumers engaged in a Jio bubble or in a Jio world. The executive estimates India has a middle class of around 40 crore people. “Even if they succeed in capturing 10% of that wallet share, it is going to be huge,” he says.
That’s the reason Reliance Retail is betting big on business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce, with a digital wholesale marketplace along the lines of Alibaba for products such as smartphones, televisions, garments and grocery items, among other products, according to people aware of the plan. It’s looking to service a whole gamut of retailers in cities and villages.
Reliance NSE-2.49% has already started distributing its licence products of Kelvinator- and BPL-branded consumer electronic items and its smartphone JioPhone Next, produced in collaboration with Google, to retailers outside of Reliance’s stable. The company also boasts a whole host of private brands and many of them are making inroads into general trade.
Reliance Retail Limited is a subsidiary company of Reliance Industries Limited. Founded in 2006, it is the largest retailer in India in terms of revenue. V Subramaniam is the CEO of the Venture.It had a total of 3,837 stores in April 2018 in India with an area of over 17.7 million square feet across 750 cities, with yearly revenue of over ₹690 billion. Reliance Retail is the retail initiative of the group and is central to our consumer facing businesses. It has in a short time forged strong and enduring bonds with millions of consumers by providing them unlimited choice, outstanding value proposition, superior quality and unmatched experience across all its stores.
Reliance Retail has adopted a multi-prong strategy and operates chain of neighbourhood stores, supermarkets, wholesale cash & carry stores, specialty stores and online stores and has democratized access to a variety of products and services across diverse segments for Indian consumers. Serving the food and grocery category Reliance Retail operates Reliance Fresh, Reliance Smart and Reliance Market stores. In the consumer electronics category Reliance Retail operates Reliance Digital, Reliance Digital Express Mini stores and Jio stores, and in fashion & lifestyle category it operates Reliance Trends, Trends Women, Trends Man, Trends junior, Project Eve, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Jewels and AJIO.com in addition to a large number of partner brand stores across the country.
Reliance Retail has the distinction of being the largest retailer in the country. Reliance Retail’s commitment to “bettering the lives” has been embodied in its pursuit to make a difference on social socio–economic issues in India. The initiative has brought millions of farmers and small producers to the forefront of the retail revolution by partnering with them for growth.Reliance Retail has emerged as the partner of choice for International brands and has established exclusive partnerships with many revered international brands such as Diesel, Superdry, Hamleys, ErmenegildoZegna, Marks and Spencer, Paul & Shark, Thomas Pink, Kenneth Cole, Brooks Brothers, Steve Madden, Payless Shoesource, Grand Vision and many more.
Reliance Retail reported a turnover of Rs. 1,30,566crore for the financial year 2018-19. As on 30th Sep 2019, Reliance Retail operates 10,901 stores across 6,700+ cities with a retail area of over 24.5 million square feet ,Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited is the holding company of Reliance Retail Limited which operates the retail business.Reliance Retail has adopted a multi-prong strategy and operates a chain of neighborhood stores, supermarkets, wholesale cash & carry stores
Reliance Retail has emerged as the partner of choice for international brands and has established exclusive partnerships with many revered international brands such as Diesel, Superdry, Hamleys, ErmenegildoZegna, Marks and Spencer, Paul & Shark, Thomas Pink, Kenneth Cole, Brooks Brothers, Steve Madden, Payless Shoesource, Grand Vision and many more