After pulling a number of international fashion labels from ecommerce platforms Amazon and Flipkart earlier this month, Reliance Brands has now signed up Armani’s sportswear brand EA7 and British high-street brands All Saints and Kurt Geiger.
The move is part of the company’s plan to strengthen its portfolio of premium brands before the launch of its ecommerce business later this year. Reliance is banking on exclusivity by taking off premium brands it holds a licence for from Amazon and Flipkart. These brands will make up a big part of the company’s fashion portfolio under the ecommerce service. As it has claimed in the past, Reliance Industries is looking at merging its offline retail presence with its upcoming online marketplace to attract both small and large merchants.
Reliance Brands, already has a bunch of global brands in its tote — about four dozen, including the likes of Diesel, Canali, Hugo Boss, Furla, Juicy Couture and Kate Spade.
All Saints, Kurt Geiger, and Armani’s EA7 add to the company’s ever-expanding fashion portfolio. Kurt Geiger is an upmarket accessories and footwear brand, while All Saints sells apparel, along with accessories and footwear under its label. EA7, on the other hand, sells premium sportswear such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, tracksuits, footwear, and more.
The Mukesh Ambani-led company announced its plans to launch a hybrid offline-online ecommerce service in July last year. Post the announcement, the company is on a spree of acquisitions and is positioning its supply chain to cater to a network of around 7,500 retail stores, with an online shopping component.
Reliance is placing all of its newly acquired premium brands on Ajio, its online fashion marketplace. It has already listed Swiss brands Steve Madden, DC Shoes, Gas, and Quiksilver.
India’s retail industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. It is expected to grow to $ 1.2 Tn by 2021 from $ 672 Bn in 2017, according to a report from IBEF. India’s retail market accounts for over 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contributes to 8% of the population employment.
Reliance also acquired iconic UK toy retailer Hamleys earlier this month for INR 620 Cr. Reliance already had a master franchise agreement with Hamleys for the Indian market to sell its products in 80 stores across 32 cities.
Ambani had earlier said that its expanding ecommerce platform will be beneficial to consumers, producers, as well as retailers. It will help around 3 Cr small shopkeepers across the country as it will connect small merchants with its retail networks and warehouse.
The company also plans to set up kiosk points at Jio telecom stores to fulfil orders placed online and for last-mile delivery and in-person collection.