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Reliance Retail completes 109 stores

Mukesh Ambani has stepped up the hold in the retail space and in a very short span of time, set up 109 Reliance Fresh stores, reports Saurabh Turakhia.

business Updated: Apr 10, 2007 01:40 IST

Mukesh Ambani has stepped up the hold in the retail space and in a very short span of time, set up 109 Reliance Fresh stores. The retail major has established 22 stores in NCR, Delhi, 21 in Chennai and 25 in Hyderabad. The first store was opened in November 2006.

Reliance Retail boasts of stores in places such as Ranchi, Ahmedabad, Vijaywada and Guntu. The company is set to change the retail landscape of the country by plans to have a store for every 2000 families across India. The plan is to have 500 stores by the end of 2007, a source said.

The smallest store has an area of 1,450 sq feet while the largest store occupies 5,500 sq feet of space. The total investment by Reliance in its retail venture is around Rs 25,000 crores. Going by the plan, it should have 5000 stores by 2010. This is the pilot phase for Reliance when it will test its logistics, back end and other operations. The pilot phase will continue till Reliance establishes its stores in all the states.

The behemoth’s Mumbai plans are also far from modest. Source said that that the first Reliance Fresh store can be up in Mumbai by April end. In a span of 2 months, Mumbai may have as many as 20-30 Reliance Fresh stores. There will be 10 stores opened in Pune next week as well. The expansion will also take place in areas like Punjab and MP soon.

As far as space crunch is concerned, the recent hike in rate of interest has come as a welcome move for retail majors. Sources said that rates have crashed in NCR from Rs 6,700 to Rs 7,000 per square feet a month back to Rs 4,500 per square feet now. Pockets in Navi Mumbai, Gurgaon and NCR are now available at cheaper rates with some stabilisation of real estate prices.

Reliance retail is working on the philosophy of ‘farm to fork’ whereby produce is transported directly from the farmer to the consumer, thereby eliminating the middlemen and hence bringing the prices at affordable levels. Efforts are on to understand efficiencies at various locations. For example, tomatoes are sold at unimaginably low prices The Indian retail space is set to see intense competition as big business houses like Dabur, Bharti, etc have shown interest.