Reliance Retail is working on creating the world’s largest online-to-offline platform. The behemoth is well positioned to create massive disruption in the market. It has a history of launching operations via massive discounts.
Due to the recent changes in e-commerce policy and the restrictions on an inventory-led model for marketplaces with FDI, Reliance Retail is finding a favorable policy environment to launch operations where it can use its existing retail infrastructure to deliver goods to customers. This gives Reliance Retail access to long-term capital from the conglomerate, which has a presence in energy, petrochemicals, telecom, textiles, retail, and natural resources.
Reliance Retail also has a portfolio of over 40 brands, from the midmarket to premium segments and including Hamleys (which the company has acquired for Rs 620 crores) and Marks & Spencer. These can provide a boost to the fashion and lifestyle segment, which will be the largest category by online spending in the coming years.
Reliance Retail is the largest retailer in India, and it has grown at 55 per cent in the last five years. Reliance Retail operates 10,415 stores in more than 6,600 cities, with 500 million annual footfalls. Online retail sales in India are expected to grow at 25.8 per cent till 2023.