Reliance Retail set to bring 7-Eleven stores to Indian shores
Indian billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail Ltd. will soon bring 7-Eleven Inc.'s convenience stores to India. The first store will begin operations in Mumbai followed by a "rapid rollout" across India's financial hub. Reliance Retail secured the deal just days after indebted supermarket operator Future Retail Ltd. terminated its agreement with 7-Eleven. Here are more details on this.
Reliance scoops up 7-Eleven after Future Retail deal falls apart
In a statement on Thursday devoid of financial details, Reliance Retail said that it secured the deal with Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven. Future Retail ended its 2019 agreement with 7-Eleven on Tuesday. The latter operates and franchises 77,000+ stores in 18 countries and regions. The agreement ended mutually since Future Retail was unable to meet targets of opening 7-Eleven's retail stores and pay franchise fees.
Reliance remains embroiled in suit over Future Retail's assets
Meanwhile, team Ambani has locked horns with Amazon Inc. in court for the assets of Future Retail since it is one of India's largest brick-and-mortar retail chains. Many foreign firms have longed for access to India's coveted market of 1.4 billion consumers. 7-Eleven's entry also comes at an opportune moment as India experiences a lull in COVID-19 infections months after the disastrous second wave.
Move will help Reliance strengthen stronghold over Indian retail scene
Reuters reported that for Reliance, the move is part of Ambani's wider ambition to expand its stronghold over India's growing formalized retail space. According to statistics presented at a shareholders meeting in June, Reliance added 1,500 new stores to a total of nearly 13,000 in last year alone. On Thursday, Ambani's flagship Reliance Industries rose by as much as 1.6%.
7-Eleven's CEO's thoughts on the Reliance Retail deal
7-Eleven's President and CEO Joe DePinto said, "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," he added. Other foreign firms that sought entry have faced hurdles and political opposition since most of India's retail landscape comprises small-scale family-run businesses.