Reliance loses retail crown to S Korean ecomm rival

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 10, 2021

Reliance Retail has recorded a YoY growth of 41.8 per cent, driven primarily by a 13.1 per cent increase in the number of stores

Coupang Corp fastest growing in list of 250 firms

South Korean e-commerce company Coupang Corp has overtaken India’s Reliance Retail to be the fastest growing company in the Top 250 of Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2021 report. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retail was last year’s Fastest 50 leader.

According to the report, “Retail leaders in the Asia Pacific region are dominated by companies from Japan and China/Hong Kong SAR, with other companies based in India, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. Just over half have retail operations in more than one country, but these are often relatively small in scale. Only seven companies reported more than 20 per cent of their retail revenue from foreign operations.”

The growth retailers in FY20 were able to capitalise on the new consumer opportunities presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly online shopping and delivery, and were able to continue trading from their stores. Other retailers suffered from reduced demand for their product categories due to the pandemic-induced major changes in consumer behaviour, enforced store closures and travel bans. They were also less able to respond quickly to pivot to online solutions.

Reliance Retail has recorded a YoY growth of 41.8 per cent, driven primarily by a 13.1 per cent increase in the number of stores. It operates in consumer electronics, fashion and lifestyle and grocery retail segments. In total, it has 11,784 stores across 7,000 plus towns and cities in India at fiscal year end.

Reliance Retail acquired the 29 stores of Shri Kannan Departmental Store at the end of FY19 and in August 2020 announced it would acquire Future Group’s retail, wholesale and logistics units for $3.4 billion. When fully approved, the deal will almost double Reliance Retail’s store space.

Reliance Retail also made two e-commerce acquisitions in 2020, buying Vitalic Health and its online pharmacy platform Netmeds in August, and a 96 per cent stake in online home decor company UrbanLadder in November.

However, new entrant in the list, Coupang Corp is the fastest-growing company in the Top 250, with revenues up over 60 per cent YoY, and a five-year CAGR of over 100 per cent.

Growth of Coupang

South Korea’s largest online retailer, Coupang attributed its FY19 revenue growth to its expanded “Wow” delivery service that allowed overnight and same-day deliveries nationwide.

The fastest growth categories in South Korea were home appliances and fresh food.

The company says its ongoing investment in logistics and the dense population of South Korea mean that 70 per cent of Koreans live within 10 minutes of a Coupang logistics centre, making last-mile delivery easier to achieve.

Published on May 09, 2021

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