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Reliance to start retail network in NCR

Reliance Retail is expected to inaugurate its first store in Noida on Monday, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2007 21:39 IST

Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), will map its footprint in the National Capital Region (NCR) by launching nine stores across various satellite towns in the region next week.

The convenience stores, branded under the Reliance Fresh banner, would offer a host of products, including fresh fruits and vegetables and will come up in Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida.

The first store is expected to be inaugurated in Noida on Monday.

When contacted, a company spokesman refused to comment. Sources in the group, however, said that the average size of these stores would be around 2,500 square feet.

The company plans to open 600 such stores in the NCR including Delhi over the next two-and-a-half years. The stores in Delhi are expected to be rolled out by February as the company is expecting an impending approval of the revised Master Plan for Delhi.

Reliance sources said that during the first phase, the company plans to set up about 30 stores in Delhi in addition to the nine stores in the satellite towns of NCR set to be launched next week.

The roll-out plan in Delhi and NCR, which includes hypermarkets and supermarkets apart from neighbourhood convenience stores, will involve an estimated investment of Rs 8,000 crore spread across about 50 million square feet.

Reliance Retail’s roll-out, which began from Hyderabad in September, has since touched Jaipur and Chennai. The company's larger plan involves a total investment of Rs 25,000 crore over a three-year period.

RIL recently acquired about 5 lakh square feet of commercial space spread over seven locations in Delhi involving more than Rs 1,000 crore in a highly competitive auction of properties belonging to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

India has emerged as the most attractive destination for mass merchant and food retailers. AT Kearney's Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), which ranks 30 emerging countries based on a set of 25 variables including economic and political risk, retail market attractiveness and retail saturation levels, has retained India's position at the top for the second year.

Almost all top Indian business conglomerations have firmed up retail plans and global retail giants are also set to enter the fray. US giant Wal-Mart has entered into a strategic alliance with the Bharti group and is expected to roll out its roadmap shortly.

E-mail Gaurav Choudhury: gaurav.choudhury@hindustatimes.com