The first of its artisan-centric stores called ‘Swadesh‘ will come up in Delhi’s Connaught Place area, they said, adding that the company has already leased about 30,000 sq ft of space in E block of the popular shopping area, one of the costliest retail locations in the country.
‘Swadesh’ will showcase artisanal products, including agriculture and food items, handloom, clothing, textiles, handicrafts and handmade natural products.
“The entry of Reliance in the gifting retail segment will make the sector more organised,” said a retail expert. “Right now, the majority of the segment is unorganised and going forward, India will offer a huge opportunity.”
An email query sent to Reliance Retail remained unanswered till as of press time.
According to the sources, Reliance plans to partner with the state governments to promote artisanal products and also take ‘Swadesh’ global. It has already signed an agreement with the West Bengal government for this.
The company has also signed an agreement with the textiles ministry, which will enable the sourcing of 100% authentic products directly from the artisans.
“This is an untapped market and the growth prospect is immense. But the pricing of products is crucial since the competitors are local markets, who sell at cheaper rates,” said another retail expert.
Bombay Store is the only organised business in this category in India. It sells artefacts, gifts, home decor and souvenirs at airports and in major tourist cities.
Reliance Retail is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures, the holding company of all the retail companies under the RIL Group. Reliance Retail’s net profit for the July-September quarter increased by 36% year-on-year to ₹2,305 crore, while revenue increased by 44.5%.
Reliance Retail opened 795 new stores with an area of 9.2 million sq ft, up 20% quarter-on-quarter, taking the total store count at the end of the quarter to 16,617 with a combined area of 54.5 million sq ft.