Reliance Fresh, the neighbourhood convenient store format of RIL’s Rs. 25,000 crore retail initiative, Reliance Retail, which made its debut on 3rd November, 2006, in Hyderabad with the opening of a cluster of 11 stores and which now has 22 stores in operation in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Jaipur is gearing up to enter its home state Gujarat with a big bang. According to media reports, Reliance will begin its Gujarat foray with the opening of 40 Fresh stores in Ahmedabad in March to be followed by 20 stores in Surat, 15 in Vadodara, 12 in Rajkot and 10 in Jamnagar; in April, 2007.
A few of these Reliance Fresh stores may be Adani Supermarket converts, the deal for which is believed to be in the final stage of closure. Adani retail chain has 59 stores spread across big cities of Gujarat. All of these stores may not fit the bill as Reliance Fresh store format envisages retail space of between 2,000 and 4,000 sq. ft.
Reliance enjoys certain advantages in Gujarat, which even though head quartered in Mumbai, may be considered as its home state. Reliance has good infrastructure facilities near major cities of the state including Ahmedabad (textile mill), Vadodara (IPCL plant), Jamnagar (Refinery) and Surat (Hazira complex).
Reliance Fresh, it may be recalled, stocks fruits, flowers, vegetables and groceries beside a few staples like atta and rice, which are sold under its own in-house private label of ‘Reliance Select.’ Reliance Fresh also supplies these items in bulk to push-cart vendors and small retailers. Reliance Fresh is a part of the group’s ‘Farm to Fork’ initiative in which farm produce is procured directly from the farmers through its back end arm ‘Ranger Farms.’
The Times of India
(5th January, 2007)