Reliance Retail, which has acquired the master franchisee of 7-Eleven convenience stores in India, will open 15 stores in Greater Mumbai by May-end and reach its target of 50 stores in the city over the next few months. It plans to open 7-Eleven stores across the top 100 cities over the next few years.
According to sources, Reliance Retail, which has entered into a partnership with the American multinational chain of retail convenience stores, has aggressive plans for 7-Eleven’s expansion in India.
“Reliance Retail has already opened 11 stores. It will soon reach the goal of 15 stores by May-end in the Greater Mumbai cluster. Over the next few months, it will achieve the goal of having the first 50 stores in Mumbai,” the source said.
In December 2019, 7-Eleven finalised an agreement with Future Retail. Back then, Kishore Biyani, Future Retail’s chief, had said that a city like Mumbai could accommodate 1,000 stores. But the deal was called off six months ago after the Indian retail player hit a financial crisis. Reliance Retail then stepped in to take over 7-eleven.
Speaking about the expansion plans over the next few years, the source said: “Eventually, Reliance plans to add 7-Eleven stores in the top 100 cities. These could be metros and non-metros, including Gurgaon, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata, among others.”
The person explained that Reliance Retail sees a lot of potential in the 24/7 convenience store concept. “India has a young population. 7-Eleven has the potential to flourish in cities where both husband and wife are working and are always on the go. Reliance Retail aims to open stores in key neighbourhoods and commercial areas.”
Globally, the 95-year-old chain operates franchises and/or licences more than 78,000 stores in 18 countries and regions.
According to the person, globally, over 30 per cent of the sales come from fresh food, whereas 70 per cent of the sales come from convenience items. However, “Early trends show that approximately 47 per cent of the sales come from fresh food, whereas the rest of the sales come from convenience items. Eventually, the company aims to gain sales of 60 per cent from fresh foods and 40 per cent convenience items. ”
The uniqueness of the stores in India, according to the sources, is the price point at which fresh food will be sold. “The same fast food that is sold at a dhaba may cost more than the food that will be sold at the 7-Eleven stores. Not only that, it will have good quality.” Eventually, Reliance Retail may sell alcohol at retail prices in cities where it is allowed.