Indian Reliance setting up small stores for last-mile delivery

Indian Reliance Retail is aggressively ramping up a new network of grocery stores that will also be used for last-mile delivery of food and grocery as part of the Mumbai conglomerate’s ambitious omnichannel venture.

By guest author Rasul Bailay from Indian Economic Times

Reliance plans to open thousands of small outlets called RelianceNSE Smart Points in various cities in neighbourhoods as part of its omni-channel play, according to two people familiar with the development. These Smart Points will measure between 500 square feet and and 1500 square feet each.

Real estate agents said that Reliance is scouting for thousands of locations in various cities. One real estate agent said Reliance has mandated various property dealers to search 500 such small stores in north India in the next three to four months. A third person said Reliance is looking at opening more than 100 such stores each in Delhi and Mumbai in the coming months.

“They are looking for not-so-prime properties with lower rentals,” said the first person quoted above. “It is a grocery concept that will be used for hyper-local delivery and consumers can also order online and pick up from those stores.”

Reliance said it has already rolled out 18 such outlets in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan selling grocery and pharmacy. “Smart Point is a smaller avatar of a (supermarket chain) Smart store with presence in residential neighbourhoods with smart price promise,” a Reliance spokesperson said in a WhatsApp response. Reliance said the format comes with a quick turnaround time from conceptualisation to launch in 45 days.

With its network of more than 11000 physical outlets dotting the country, Reliance is taking Amazon and Flipkart head-on with its major omnichannel venture that is expected to start later this year. On top of that, Reliance seeks to partner with millions of mom-and-pop stores as part of its “new commerce” multi-channel retail plans.