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Reliance Fresh in Hyderabad

November 2006  Hyderabad  on Friday saw the new dawn of a new revolution. Reliance Industries Ltd’s dreams of a retail revolution got kick-started in the Andhra Pradesh capital when its Reliance Fresh supermart opened its doors to the world. And, several hundred customers flocked to try out what all are on offer on the first day.
                              The inauguration event saw customers cut red ribbons to open the store widely believed as Reliance Industries Ltd’s first in the series of several thousand stores that are to come. Following the first, the company opened 10 more on Friday as a first step towards creating a mega retail chain across the country.
                                 The Reliance Fresh supermarket chain is RIL’s Rs 25,000 crore venture and it plans to add more stores across different geographies, and eventually have a pan-India footprint by year 2011. 
                                                       The super marts will sell fresh fruits and vegetables, staples, groceries, fresh juice bars and dairy products and also will sport a separate enclosure and supply-chain for non-vegetarian products. 
                                                     Besides, the stores would provide direct employment to 5 lakh young Indians and indirect job opportunities to a million people, according to the company. The company also has plans to train students and housewives in customer care and quality services for part-time jobs. 
                                                 Currently, selling through company-owned stores currently totals just $8 billion in India. Industry estimates say that the country’s retail industry is worth $300 billion, that is about Rs 13,50,000 crore. This stands a chance to blossom to $427 billion in the next four years. Organised retail accounts for just over Rs 35,000 crore. Reliance Fresh bids to tap the potential for organised retail in the country.
                                                       The opening of Reliance’s retail chains closely follows the moves of global players like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Metro AG seeking to open shop here in the country. With Reliance announcing plans to expand, and that too rapidly, the retail scenario in the country is all set to take off in a big way

Reliance Retail targets Delhi and NCR for expansion

With over 40 Reliance Fresh stores already launched in Chennai, Hyderabad and Jaipur, Reliance Retail began its assault of the National Capital Region market with the recent opening of nine new stores in Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon.

                                 The company is targeting to open 100 more Reliance Fresh stores in NewDelhi alone within four months, and a 1,000 new stores in 35 cities nationwide by the end of the year with a built-up area of over 4 million sq.ft. An investment of Rs.8,000 crore is envisaged for the NCR region alone.
                     Reliance Fresh stocks fresh fruits and vegetables, staples, fast moving consumer goods and dairy products. The stores are already selling over 1,000 tonnes of fresh produce daily and also 250 categories of commodities. The company is approaching farmers directly for the procurement of produce, seeking to reduce the 40% wastage that occurs through the traditional supply chain.

Even the hypermarkets and convenience stores to be launched in the region will now be bunched together around the city and satellite towns over the next two months. Among the locations RIL has chosen for opening retail stores are three sites in Noida, one each in Gurgaon and Faridabad besides four in Ghaziabad.

However, the roll-out plans for other cities remain intact. Along with NCR, the company would make its debut in Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Bangalore and Chennai over the next few weeks besides expanding its existing network in Hyderabad.

Already, the cash & carry format called “Ranger Farm” outlets have been opened in Hyderabad and Jaipur and these would eventually be spread to other cities.

The RIL hypermarkets would be spread over 50,000 sq ft and would stock consumer electronics, apparel and home furnishings, besides fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Specialty Store format is expected to launch with high-end apparel initially.

The retail blueprint will see RIL reaching 784 towns, 6,000 rural mandis and 70 of the country’s top cities over the next 18-24 months.

The company is eyeing retail space of 100 million sq ft under its belt by the turn of the decade, a turnover of Rs 1,00,000 crore and breakeven within the first year of operations.
The Reliance Retail juggernaut appears to have slowed down. The company’s roll-out plans in Delhi are being reworked. Besides, it seems that the launch of different retail formats (only convenience stores and cash & carry outlets are operational at present) is also facing a slight delay

According to sources, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has now decided to bypass Delhi altogether.
RIL has decided against opening stores within Delhi due to the uncertain real-estate situation here. However, it will set up about 10 “Fresh” stores in the national capital region (NCR).

 Reliance Fresh store in U.P.

The biggest industry chamber of Uttar Pradesh, Indian Industry Association, has come out in full support of Reliance Fresh outlets and has urged the state government to withdraw ban on the same.

The association in its state-level executive committee meeting held at Lucknow today expressed concerns over the government's decision to impose ban on Reliance Fresh.

"Such decisions will have adverse effect on the overall economic and social environment in the state," said Anil Gupta, senior vice-president, IIA.

Now investors may be hesitant to invest in Uttar Pradesh due to the uncertainty and employment opportunities would dry out, he said.

"Farmers also may have got better returns for their produce, had they been able to sell their products directly to Reliance Fresh instead through the intermediaries," he added.

The committee urged the government to ensure that the policies are framed in consultation with all the stake holders and once announced, the policies stay for reasonable time; while care must also be taken in its implementation.

"Though many policies are announced by various governments yet there existence is either restricted on paper alone or are changed frequently," Gupta said.

The IIA expressed hope that the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the cabinet secretary Sashank Shekhar to investigate the attacks on the Reliance Fresh outlets and to study all aspects of the organised retail chains, will submit its report at the earliest and that government will encourage such investments.

The association said that our country or any of the state has to adopt new technologies and concepts of business to keep pace with the world community.

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