“This is the first small step in our attempt to build and forge strong and enduring bonds with millions of farmers and transform our relationship with customers to a new level. We are starting on a pilot journey of listening to customers and learning from them,” this is how Mukesh Ambani, Chairman Reliance Industries, in a media release, had earlier described company’s foray in agri and retail businesses.
The Company, in a Rs. 25000 crore retail initiative, has planned to roll out hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount stores, department stores, convenience stores and specialty stores, in the near future.
‘Reliance Fresh,’ which was unveiled to select media on sunday in upmarket Banzara Hill, Hyderabasd, will roll out to public from today. Reliance Fresh, the company’s convenient, neighbourhood fresh food outlets, will serve as the front end of RIL’s “farm to fork” initiative. Reliance Fresh hopes make buying vegetables and groceries a lifestyle experience at neighbourhood market prices.
The exercise of creating a separate identity was initiated by Nita Ambani, wife of RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, as she felt that the business needed an independent brand rather than piggy back off RIL’s image.
As reported earlier, the pilot store in Hyderabad will also mark introduction of the company’s staple foods private label ‘Reliance Select.’
It is speculated that Reliance Retail’s next stop will be Ahmedabad, where the company would launch an outlet on December 28, the birthday of RIL family patriarch Dhirubai Ambani. This is expected to be followed by launching of stores in West Bengal, Punjab, Delhi and Mumbai.
Reliance Fresh stores, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 sq feet, will provide customers with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, staple foods and other products in a world-class ambience,” said Gunender Kapur, president, foods business, at the unveiling ceremony.
The extended version of Reliance ‘Fresh’ to be called Reliance ‘Fresh Plus’ will sell apparel, as well.
Reliance Fresh will source fruits, vegetables and other farm offerings from farmers through the agri hubs being set up by the company. This will while eliminating middlemen from the trade, ensure higher remuneration for farmers, lower prices for consumers and lesser wastage of farm produce for the country.
“The stores are for everyone. The prices are affordable for everyone,” said Gunender Kapur CEO & President Retail Food Biz. According to sources, about 11 of the planned 40 outlets in Hyderabad are ready for the launch. This will soon be followed by ‘Fresh’ outlets coming up in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.
“Hyderabad is as representative as any other city in the country in terms of customer profiles,” said KS Venugopal, CEO, customer operations, while explaining the reason behind setting up the inaugural store in the city.