NEW DELHI: Adding to its burgeoning retail empire, billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail will bring 7-Eleven convenience stores to India, days after Future Retail ended its deal with the US chain.
The first 7-Eleven store will open in Mumbai on October 9 and will be followed by a further "rapid rollout", Reliance Retail said in a statement, without providing financial details.
Earlier this week, the troubled supermarket operator Future Retail announced the termination of an agreement with 7-Eleven Inc to develop and operate the US firm's round-the-clock convenience stores in India.
The February 2019 pact was terminated by mutual consent after indebted Future Retail was unable to open the brand's stores or pay franchise fees.
Future Group had last year agreed to sell its retail assets to Reliance but the deal has been legally challenged by Amazon.
7-Eleven will add to the expansion spree of Reliance, which already has about 13,000 stores across the country.
"Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, 7-India Convenience Retail Ltd, has entered into a master franchise agreement with 7-Eleven Inc (SEI) for the launch of 7-Eleven convenience stores in India," the statement.
This will be followed by a rapid rollout in key neighbourhoods and commercial areas, across the Greater Mumbai cluster to start with, it said.
With the launch of 7-Eleven stores, RRVL as the country's largest retailer takes a step further in its journey of offering a superior shopping experience and compelling value proposition for Indian customers.
"The 7-Eleven stores aim to provide shoppers with a unique style of convenience, offering a range of beverages, snacks and delicacies specifically curated to appeal to local tastes, along with a refill of daily essentials, having affordability and hygiene at its very core," said RRVL.
A rapid expansion plan is on the anvil, and SEI will also support RRVL in implementing and localising the unique 7-Eleven convenience retail business model for India, including bringing best-in-class processes and practices.
"India is the second-largest country in the world and has one of the fastest-growing economies," 7-Eleven's President and Chief Executive Officer Joe DePinto said in a statement.
"It's an ideal time for the largest convenience retailer in the world to make our entry into India." Commenting on the development, RRVL Director Isha Ambani said: "At Reliance, we pride ourselves in offering the best to our customers and we are proud to bring 7-Eleven, the globally trusted convenience store, to India.
"7-Eleven is among the most iconic global brands in the convenience retail landscape.
The new pathways we build together with SEI will offer Indian customers greater convenience and choices within their own neighborhoods," Ambani said.
DePinto said, "Our strategic relationship with Reliance Retail Ventures will bring 7-Eleven's brand of convenient products and services to millions of Indian consumers starting in the city of Mumbai." RRVL is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited and the holding company of all the retail companies under the RIL Group.
It had reported a consolidated turnover of Rs 1,57,629 crore for the year ended March 31, 2021.
SEI, which is based in Irving, Texas, operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 77,000 stores in 18 countries and regions, including 16,000 in North America.
In addition to 7-Eleven stores, SEI operates and franchises Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Company and Raise the Roost.