Reliance Retail to expand beyond 500 towns in areas without current presence

Reliance Retail, an arm of the Reliance Industries Ltd has announced that it will expand its retail network all over India. According to the company sources, the retail stores will be established in those towns where the company does not have a physical presence. The company revealed that the stores will be established using a hybrid online-offline model.

In the recently released annual report, the company disclosed that they are planning to expand its reach in such a way to cover the entire country. The company said that the retail stores will be established in 500 towns where it does not have any presence currently. Moreover, the company is planning to launch multi-channel initiatives for grocery and apparels.

Commenting on the development, Sreedhar Prasad, Partner, Strategy, and Operations, KPMG India added that the next phase of growth for retailers will involve the combination of omnichannel models. This will create a win-win scenario for both buyers and sellers including bringing down the servicing cost of existing consumers who shop online.

Nowadays, retailers are aiming for a larger share of the online pie. This is being done through a series of online promotions including through social media.

Past attempts by Companies

In the past, Future Group had established an online retail store in 2007 with the launch of Futurebazaar.com. However, the project was launched in 2010 but never emerged successfully due to intense competition from other competitors like Flipkart.

As of writing this, Future Group is testing a pilot project whereby groceries will be delivered to the household in association with Amazon.

Recently, the company announced that customers will be able to complete payments at any retail store via Paytm wallets. Towards the end of 2016, the company will also launch Bigbazaar.com, which is yet another omnichannel marketplace strategy.

You should also be aware that other companies like Tata group, Aditya Birla Group, and Arvind Group have launched their own fashion and lifestyle e-commerce ventures with an integrated online-offline experience. For example, you can place orders via online and collect them by visiting the retail store.

However, the above model kills the very existence of the e-commerce venture since consumers will not prefer to visit shops to collect the product after ordering online. In contrast, they can directly visit an offline retail store and buy products.

Responding to media, Sandeep Ladda, Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers disclosed that it will be interesting to wait and watch the situation as to how the physical retail infrastructure mechanism works out.

In 2016, the Reliance Retail’s revenues increased by 22.5-percent to reach Rs. 21612 crore, which accounts for about 7-percent of the company’s consolidated revenues. The company added 624 stores, which accounts for the total of 3383 stores.

During the last financial year, Reliance Retail launched Ajio.com, which is a curated fashion and lifestyle portal. The reliancefreshdirect.com has also been started for selling groceries online.

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