Vegetable vendors in Jaipur are demanding closure of recently opened Reliance ‘Fresh’ outlets in the city, according to a report published in Keralanext. Reliance Fresh, as may be recalled, is a neighbourhood convenience stores format of Reliance Retail which offers fruits, flowers, vegetables and staples. Reliance ‘Fresh’ is part of its nationwide Rs. 25,000 crore retail initiative. Presently, 21 Reliance ‘Fresh’ stores are in operation in Hyderabad (16) and Jaipur (5).
Local vegetables vendors, according to the report, have said that these stores were severely affecting their business as they were not only bringing down their sales but were also taking away their customers as the newly opened stores were offering products at cheaper rates to shoppers .
The report cites a vegetable vendor as saying: “We are suffering losses as fifty percent customers have left and half of our vegetables are rotting as only half of them are being sold. We want the license of Reliance to be cancelled and their stores to be closed.”
Allaying the fears of vegetable vendors, Umesh Bhandari, Head of Reliance Retail, Rajasthan, is cited to have said that “The vendors should not worry as the market is big enough and growing at a very good rate and there is space for everybody. There is no need of panic because there is a customer for everyone.”
“At the same time, we are also trying to reach the customers through wholesale distribution mechanism whereby these vendors will be offered products, in wholesale, at reasonable rates,” he added.