Jio sales points, petrol pump outlets spur Reliance Retail's revenues

Reliance Industries’ December quarter numbers, released on Thursday, were mainly led by its retail and telecom businesses. But a closer look at the retail operations of the country’s largest company by market capitalisation shows that Jio sales points (bunched under the heading ‘Connectivity’ in its results) and petrol pump outlets (under the umbrella ‘Petro Retail’) contributed 44 per cent to the vertical’s Q3 revenue of Rs 35,577 crore.

The trend over the last three quarters of the 2018-19 financial year (FY19) is no different. Connectivity and petro retail’s contribution in the June, September and December quarters of FY19 to the revenue of Reliance Retail was 43-45 per cent.  The balance 55-57 per cent revenue in the last three quarters came from grocery, fashion, lifestyle and consumer electronics, which are core retail segments.

While analysts say this mix is unlikely to change soon, Reliance is putting building blocks in place to increase its contribution from core retail and reduce dependence on Jio and petro retail. During its third quarter results, the company said it was focusing on fashion, lifestyle, grocery and consumer electronics.

“We added 100 stores across fashion and lifestyle in the quarter. Reliance Trends (fashion chain) witnessed 48 per cent revenue growth during Diwali this year compared to the same period last year. Grocery and consumer electronics saw 53 per cent and 31 per cent revenue growth, respectively,” it said.

Foreign brokerage CLSA had said that Reliance Retail’s core retail revenues had the potential to grow 12-fold in 10 years, given its position in the market. “Reliance has nearly 10,000 stores. This, coupled with an engaging e-commerce offering, could give it a huge lead in creating a formidable omni-channel model, which is seen by many experts as a key success factor for the Indian retail market,” CLSA added.

On Friday, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said the company would roll out its e-commerce platform to as many as 1.2 million retailers and store owners in Gujarat. This was part of a nationwide roll out that would come later as Reliance prepared to take on Walmart-led Flipart, Amazon and Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall.

Abneesh Roy, senior vice-president, research, institutional equities at Edelweiss, said Reliance Retail is fine-tuning its food and grocery strategy as competition grew in the space. It is also bundling mobile connections along with its consumer electronics as well as durable offerings and tying up aggressively with an array of fashion and lifestyle brands.

In the third quarter, for instance, the firm said it had over 250 external brands available at its fashion and lifestyle outlets, including names such as Adidas, Pepe Jeans, Peter England, Aurelia and Gini & Jony, among others.

Reliance Brands, which has tie-ups with international firms and is part of the fashion and lifestyle segment under Reliance Retail, launched White Crow, an upscale chain in the December quarter. The store, rolled out in Ahmedabad, features brands such as Diesel, Marc Jacobs and Japanese footwear brand Onitsuka Tiger. More such stores are expected to be launched across the country.


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