Consumer electronics retail chain Reliance Digital will add 100 stores in more than 40 new cities in India over the next one year, even as it expands its omni-channel capabilities at its existing 360 stores, said a top executive at the Mumbai-based company. Reliance Digital is part of Mukesh Ambani’s ₹1,30,566 crore Reliance Retail with interests in grocery, apparel, and electronics.
The company plans to expand its consumer durables business as it seeks to reach more households in India. “It is an underserved market, we can still thrive irrespective if the market grows or not," said Brian Bade, chief executive officer, Reliance Digital.
The company will add stores in existing cities, Bade said, but added that smaller markets are turning out to be beneficial for the retailer as organized retail chains are yet to make their presence felt. “Sometimes in tier 2-3 cities, competition isn’t strong. We have had good success in opening in these smaller cities and they get to a good sales rate very quickly," Bade said.
As of 2017, India’s appliances and consumer electronics market was estimated at $31.48 billion. By 2022, it is expected to hit $48.37 billion, according to a 2018 research report by PwC, as more middle-income households upgrade to better household appliances. In this sector, Reliance Digital competes with Croma, owned by Tata-backed Infiniti Retail, which has more than 130 stores, followed by Vijay Sales.
For Reliance’s electronics business, “growth shall continue to remain strong led by first mover advantage of the company by entering new cities," brokerage firm Jefferies said in a note on 24 April.