7-Eleven to Open its First Store in India in Partnership with Reliance Retail
The partnership between Future Group and 7-Eleven was supposed to be the big bang retail story for India. However, things changed dramatically post the pandemic. Future group got deep into debt and was pushed to the point of insolvency, forcing the group to put through a hurried merger deal with Reliance Group worth Rs.25,800 crore.
One of the outcomes of the crisis at Future group was that the much-talked about deal with 7-Eleven could not fructify. Just a couple of weeks, both the Future group and 7-Eleven decided to mutually call off the 2019 deal. That has turned out to be to the advantage of Reliance Retail, which has tied up with 7-Eleven to bring their retail model into India.
Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) has now announced that the first 7-Eleven store in India would open at a Mumbai suburb and would be a joint effort of RRVL and 7-Eleven. They have promised a rapid rollout across the city of Mumbai and the clear target of RRVL appears to be to take on the domination of Avenue Supermarts in the discount store space.
Reliance Retail has already been adding stores at a frenetic pace and it actually added 1,500 stores last year. RRVL currently has over 13,000 stores across India and is the largest retailer in India by a margin. However, the deal with 7-Eleven gives RRVL a globally renowned brand as well as the best practices to give stiff competition to the D-Mart model.
The CEO of 7-Eleven worldwide has pointed that India was one of the most exciting consumer stories and retail was the best pathway to the consumer mind space. Many of the large players like Wal-Mart have been eyeing the Indian retail opportunity but their efforts have been patchy and measured at best. 7-Eleven now plans an India-centric model.
Reliance’s approach to retail has been to integrate the business from farm to fork. It is not just the consumer end that RRVL will focus on but on the complete value chain including procurement and supply. That is where the deal with 7-Eleven would come in handy and the digital ecosystem of the Reliance group would be an added advantage.
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