Reliance Retail has acquired the licence to manufacture and market consumer durable products under BPL and Kelvinator brands. The move will also allow Reliance Retail enter the electrical space.

According to sources, the deal with BPL will be announced soon while the agreement with Kelvinator has already happened.

Reviving old brands

Reliance will make and sell BPL’s product portfolio, including air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and television sets in addition to light bulbs and fans. Reliance has put in place an aggressive marketing and distribution plan that could revive the old Indian brands. BPL products will be available at Reliance’s offline and online platforms.

They will also be distributed across local electronic stores, and retail and online portals.

“The plan is to launch new products and major campaigns for the festival season,” the sources said.

Reliance Retail did not offer a comment.

According to Arvind Singhal, Founder, Technopak, Reliance acquiring the manufacturing rights for these brands is a good addition as it will expand the company’s reach and possibly enhance its private label segment.

“These brands have good recall value for the older generation. But for the brands to do well, Reliance will have to make them contemporary,” he said.

Digital commerce

Though Reliance Retail’s store operations were impacted by the Covid-related restrictions, the company’s net profit was up 123 per cent at ₹962 crore in the first quarter ended June 30. Its revenue from operations grew 22 per cent to ₹38,547 crore.

Reliance Retail has been ramping up its consumer electronics segment. While announcing its first quarter results, the company said it has ramped up digital commerce to serve customer needs; this segment grew 18.8 per cent.

Revenue was up 1.8x year-on-year with highest ever quarterly sales from the online platform.

The retail company’s segment EBITDA was at ₹2,000 crore, up 80 per cent, buoyed by Fashion & Lifestyle and Consumer Electronics.

It is also focussing on scaling up its digital commerce and merchant partnerships that helped partially alleviate the loss of business due to store closures.

These streams contributed a sizeable 20 per cent of retail sales in the first quarter.