India's largest retailer Reliance Retail's mobile phones and consumer electronics have boosted the retail business and crossed the $5-billion revenue mark in March 2019 augmenting its market presence. The retail giant credited its growth to having the largest network of stores and having attained the first mover advantage in many cities.
Reportedly, new brand introductions in cellphones and air care equipments (air conditioners, air purifiers and air coolers) such as Lloyd and Godrej helped the retailer outgrow market rates across key categories. According to the company's investor presentation made to analysts, "Sales in these two categories - which account for about a third of the total- through Reliance Digital and Reliance Jio stores more than doubled to Rs 39,170 crore in FY19 from Rs 15,154 crore in FY18".
As per tracker Counterpoint Research, Jio Phone has made Reliance the largest brand in the category of feature phones and the overall cellphone market, as of 2018. The sales of Jio Phone has contributed to the revenue generation of the retailer, The Economic Times quoted an industry executive as saying.
As per the presentation, the contribution of smartphones and consumer electronics retailing increased to 30% of total sales in FY19 compared with 21.9% in the year earlier. The connectivity business which includes Reliance Jio Infocomm subscriptions and recharges was the largest with 35.5% (Rs 43,739 crore) of total retail sales and grocery was third at 17.9% (Rs 23,371 crore), the company said.
According to Reliance Retail, the company added 76 large format Reliance Digital stores and 2,219 smaller Jio stores in FY19. Consequently, the retailer now operates over 8,000 electronic and cellphone retailing stores out of the 10,415 it runs across formats. The company sold more than 570,000 television units, up 40% from FY18, it said.
Reliance Retail is planning to enter the e-commerce sector to leverage its brick-and-mortar presence stores and digital capabilities through Reliance Jio. Cellphones and consumer electronics are the two categories accounting for the largest segment in online sales, with 70% of total business. The retailer now has the scale in consumer electronics and mobile phones which is the only brick-and-mortar retailer to take the fight against e-commerce companies like Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon.
(Edited by: Nehal Solanki)