Reliance Retail (RRL), the wholly owned subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led RIL will open its first retail showroom in Hyderabad on November 3 with a pilot store called 'Reliance Fresh'.
The company will also introduce its own brand 'Reliance Select' for packed staple foods. These would be followed by general merchandise, specialty products, etc. Commenting on the unveiling of the brand, Mukesh Ambani, CMD, RIL said: "This is the first small step in our attempt to build and forge strong and enduring bonds with the millions of farmers and transform our relationship with the consumers to a new level. We are starting on a pilot journey of listening to customers and learning from them. We still strive to continuously delight them."
By November, RRL plans to add another half dozen such stores in Hyderabad only. The company has identified 15 other cities in Andhra Pradesh, including Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Chittoor, Tirupathi, Adilabad and Karimnagar for entry. After Hyderabad, the company plans to launch its retail stores incities like Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Delhi. Overall, the company plans its multi-retail stores across 1,500 cities in India in a few years. RRL plans to generate close to $20bn by '10 .
It is yet to be seen how successful Reliance will be in its retail venture assuming the stiff competition from other corporate houses like the Aditya Birla Group, Bharti, Tatas, RPG and Essar. Competition from foreign players will further intensify the market. Says KS Venugopal, CEO-customer operations, RIL-retail business: "In India, there is enough space for everyone to flourish.
The kirana stores and vegetable vendors will be sourcing fruits and vegetables from us." Analysts believe Reliance will get first-mover advantage. KSA Technopak estimates organised retail will fetch investments worth $25bn; $6bn will come from Reliance alone.
RRL will adopt three pricing categories, depending on quality: premium, middle and lower ones. Potatoes and onions may be sold at the same price across the year. Nita Ambani has been involved with all the aspects of RRL: store design, branding, customer experience and people processes.