In the next five years, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance is aiming for a five-fold growth of its fashion retail stores in India.
From the current 557 Reliance Trends outlets spread across 160 cities, the company plans to take the tally to 2,500 stores in 300 cities by 2023, stated a Reuters report citing a company source. Reliance Retail is also working on an omni-channel strategy to integrate its offline retail stores with its online business, the report said.
India boasts of a retail industry worth USD 750 billion growing at 10-12% year on year, according to research firm Technopak. Of the total retail market, fashion segment accounts for USD 55 billion.
Started in 2006, Reliance Retail is the largest Indian retailer both in terms of revenue and number of stores. Reliance Trends opened its first store in October 2007. Currently, the fashion retailer owns more than a dozen private labels and sells more than 200,000 garments a day, as per the information available on the company’s website. Almost 80% of Reliance Trends’ revenue comes from private labels, said the Reuters report.
Reliance Trend's aggressive expansion plan comes at a time when the company is all set to enter the Indian e-commerce market around Diwali this year. The conglomerate will lock horns with e-commerce giants Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart during the festive season's online sales.
According to a recent Deloitte India report, Indian e-commerce segment is poised to reach a valuation of USD 84 billion by 2021 from USD 24 billion in 2017. While Reliance has been flirting with the idea of e-commerce with its online fashion and lifestyle brand Ajio.com since 2016, it announced a full-fledged foray into the e-commerce sector in mid-2018.
Earlier this year, Ambani said Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio Infocomm would jointly launch a new e-commerce platform in the country—Gujarat being the first port of call. Reliance has been chalking out plans to synergise Reliance Retail (9,900 plus stores across 6,400 cities) and Reliance Jio (280-million-strong user base) to take on international rivals in India.
However, the company’s plan to monopolise India’s e-commerce sector is facing a roadblock as India’s data privacy rules prevent Reliance Jio to share subscribers’ data with Reliance Retail.