Just five months after Mukesh Ambani spelt out his retail plans, Reliance's retail foray has moved at breakneck speed to open its first store in its fresh food format- Reliance Fresh in Hyderabad. CNBC-TV18 takes a look at the new store.
Reliance's Rs25,000 crore retail foray is being pitched as a friendly neighbourhood store. Dominated by fresh produce, dairy and bread, Reliance Fresh is a compact 2000 sq ft store.
Gunender Kapur, president and CEO, Foods Business, RIL, says, "In this format the focus in on fresh fruits and veggies and staple products that consumers buy very frequently from the shop."
The efficiency of Reliance's much talked about farm to folk supply chain is being put to test with this retail launch. This particular store is directly procuring from the farmers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu giving it a quality and pricing advantage, something that Reliance hopes will fuel its success.
Private labels across multiple categories are expected to drive Reliance's retail formats. And with this new store comes the company's food brand 'Reliance Select'.
Kapur further adds, "At this point of time we have displayed in stores private labels in staples like rice, dhal, spices etc. so we have got a wide range of categories in which Reliance Select will be available, and in fullness of time we will get into other categories."
Next in line is Fresh Plus - Reliance's second retail format likely to be launched next month that will also house a pharmacy, and section for apparel and consumer durables.
And six months later, Reliance hopes to roll out its hypermarket format - 75,000 square feet of multiple brands of apparel, FMCG, groceries and white goods.
For now, the spotlight remains on Reliance Fresh - 40 similar stores are being planned in Hyderabad, 11 of which will open their doors to customers on November 3.
After ITC's Choupal Fresh and Landmark's Max Retail stores, Reliance joins the list of retailers who chose Hyderabad to test waters. The city offers real estate at a price that doesn't quite pinch and a population that's happy shopping at supermarkets. In fact, FMCG sales through modern trade are highest in Hyderabad.