Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL’s) retail arm, Reliance Retail, plans to enter the cash-and-carry business by opening at least three outlets in the next six to eight months, a source said.
The company had jettisoned plans in 2009 to enter the wholesale trading business, citing adverse market conditions. Some top company officials had also quit at the time.
“The company is back with a bang. It is soon going to announce its revived cash-and-carry business plans and will open three outlets over the next six to eight months,” the source said without divulging details.
The company will not enter into a joint venture with any foreign firm, but will go it alone on the business, the source said.
The company has already identified locations and work was on for the construction of the outlets, which are spread over an area of 1.5 lakh square feet each. This is, however, a scaling down of the company’s initial plan to open its stores at 15 locations, mostly Tier-II centres such as Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Rajkot and Salem.
RIL’s entry into the wholesale business assumes significance, as the market is abuzz with reports of global retailers such as Wal-Mart, Tesco, Metro and Carrefour expanding their presence in India amid anticipation that the government is likely to ease foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in both wholesale and retail formats.
RIL’s value format stores sell goods such as soaps, biscuits and vegetables and contribute 70 per cent Reliance Retail’s total sales.