Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has announced the launch of its fashion and lifestyle departmental chain, Reliance Centro, which aims to cater to mid-premium segment customers. The first Centro store was opened in New Delhi’s Vasant Kunj on Tuesday. Reliance Centro is opening in place of Future Group’s department store format ‘Central’, which was taken over by RIL after the Kishore Biyani-led cash-strapped firm failed to make lease payments and surrendered the property to the Mukesh Ambani-run company. RIL had signed a deal to acquire Future Group companies for ₹24,700 crore, which fell apart because of the opposition from e-commerce giant Amazon, which is a stakeholder in one of the promoter companies of Future Retail.
“Reliance Centro is aimed at democratising fashion in India, by strengthening its reach and connect with consumers in India – right from categories like apparels, footwear, cosmetics, lingerie, sportswear to luggage and accessories with over 300 Indian and international brands," Reliance Retail said in a statement.
As per the release, the 75,000 square feet departmental store, is one of its kind stores in this region, offering a range of over 300 brands and more than 20,000 style options for the entire family.
"This new shopping destination has a special inaugural offer for its customers, besides great relevant fashion at amazing prices. The inaugural offer to get ₹1,500 off on shopping worth ₹3,999 or get ₹2,000 off on shopping worth ₹4,999 and above," it added.
In March this year, Reliance Retail had taken control of around 950 stores of Future Retail after the debt-laden company defaulted on payments for renewing leases. Due to the financial stress, Future group companies were not able to pay the rent for their stores in the last two years. Resultantly, most of the landlords terminated the leases. At that point of time, RIL stepped in and signed the leases with landlords and then sub-leased the stores to FRL to continue operations. But, Future Group company defaulted the rents further to RIL and the latter took over the properties and started their own retail operations under 'Smart' brand name.
Reliance Retail, the country’s largest retailer in India in terms of revenue, also runs a fashion retail chain under the Reliance Trends brand. It is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., the holding company of all the retail companies under the RIL group.
In the fashion and lifestyle space, the company recently acquired a 51% stake in couturiers Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (AJSK). It also acquired a majority stake in Abraham & Thakore, a label known for contemporising the craft traditions of India. Reliance Retail has been consolidating its domestic fashion business with stakes in India's oldest fashion house Ritu Kumar, couture brand Manish Malhotra and Anamika Khanna's AK-OK. It also announced a 60/40 joint venture partnership with Rahul Mishra for a ready-to-wear brand.
Meanwhile, shares of Reliance Industries were trading 1.6% lower at ₹2,356.40 apiece, against the previous closing price of ₹2,395.40 on the BSE.