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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Digital format a key vertical for retail biz growth: RIL

PTI  New Delhi, May 09, 2013
First Published: 18:43 IST(9/5/2013) | Last Updated: 18:48 IST(9/5/2013)

Reliance Industries is betting on the digital sector as one of growth verticals of its retail business, which crossed the Rs. 10,000 crore turnover milestone in the 2012-13 fiscal.

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In order to tap the potential of the consumer durables, IT and telecom (CDIT) segment, which according to the company is poised to touch Rs. 2,15,000 crore by 2016, RIL said it will be opening more digital format stores in Tier-I and Tier-II cities apart from strengthening service arm ResQ.

"Digital sector would be one of the growth verticals for the coming year. Reliance Digital stores and Digital Express stores would be rolled out in Tier-I and Tier-II cities and would bring the connected world experience to consumers," Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) said in its annual report for 2012-13.

The company said CDIT market in India is estimated at Rs. 1,19,000 crore in 2012. The current market is growing at over 10 per cent and is expected to touch Rs. 2,15,000 crore by 2016 (excluding services).

"Penetration levels of CDIT products are low when compared to other developing markets. As disposable income increases, more people would adopt technology products. New technology innovations and trends will drive replacement as well as overall market," it added.

Apart from opening more front-end digital stores, the company will also be paying more attention to multi-product, multi-brand servicing at multiple locations.

"The focus would be to further strengthen ResQ, the service arm of the digital format. ResQ brings in strong service orientation towards meeting the requirements of the customers during the entire product lifecycle," RIL said.

In 2012-13 fiscal, Reliance Digital added a total of 46 stores. It now operates 139 stores which include iStores operating under a partnership with Apple.

"Reliance Digital is in process of expanding its overall retail footprint through both Digital and Digital Express stores," the report said without elaborating.

Commenting on overall performance of Reliance Retail, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said: "We are delighted to see our retail business achieving a milestone of annual revenue crossing Rs. 10,000 crore in FY 2012-13. Our revenues have grown by 42 per cent on a year on year basis."

More importantly, Reliance Retail has turned EBITDA positive last year, he added.

Reliance Retail saw revenue grow by 42 per cent to reach revenue of Rs. 10,800 crore last fiscal as against Rs. 7,599 crore registered in the previous financial year.

Last fiscal, the company had added 184 stores taking the total number to 1,466.


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