Reliance is rolling out 7-Elevens to become ubiquitous on India’s streets

The dominance.
The dominance.
Image: REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS)
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India’s largest private firm is all set to strengthen its presence in offline retail trade with a new chain of convenience stores.

Reliance Retail, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), on Thursday (Oct. 7) announced its partnership with the American brand 7-Eleven on this front. Their first store will open in Mumbai on Oct. 9, followed by a “rapid rollout in key neighbourhoods and commercial areas, across the Greater Mumbai cluster to start with,” the company said in a press release.

Texas-based 7-Eleven has over 77,000 stores in 18 countries. Tweaked locally, its range of wares include beverages and snacks and delicacies specifically “curated to appeal to local tastes,” along with a refill of daily essentials.

“India is the second-largest country in the world and has one of the fastest-growing economies. It’s an ideal time for the largest convenience retailer in the world to make our entry into India,” said Joe DePinto, president and CEO of SEI, the parent firm of 7-Eleven.

The announcement of the tie-up comes a day after India’s Future Group terminated its deal with the US chain. The latter partnership did not materialise as the Mumbai-based firm “was not able to meet the target of opening stores and payment of franchise fees,” its regulatory filing has said.

Reliance’s dominance in India’s retail sector

The new agreement with 7-Eleven will help RIL expand its footprint in India’s retail sector. Reliance Retail is already the country’s largest player in the space with a turnover of 1.58 lakh crore rupees ($21.6 billion).

Last month, it acquired sole control of 25-year-old search and discovery firm Just Dial.

These deals followed the widening of the company’s presence on the internet last year. In November 2019, RIL launched JioMart, an online selling channel for Reliance Retail’s grocery outlets. After this came the acquisition of a 15% stake in online lingerie retailer Zivame. In 2020, RIL also paid Rs620 crore for a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds.