Reliance is already India’s biggest retailer, and it’s now bringing on a global giant to Indian shores.
7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, is entering India in partnership with Reliance Retail. Reliance said that it had entered into a Master Franchise Agreement with with 7-Eleven to run convenience stores in India. The first 7-Eleven store is set to open on Saturday in Andheri East in Mumbai. The launch of the first store will be followed by a rapid rollout in key neighbourhoods and commercial areas, across the Greater Mumbai cluster to start off, the companies 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,” said Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited. “India is the second largest country in the world and has one of the fastest-growing economies,” said 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto. “It’s an ideal time for the largest convenience retailer in the world to make our entry into India,” he added.
This isn’t the first time that 7-Eleven has been slated to come to India. In 2019, 7-Eleven had entered into a partnership with the Future Group to open its stores in India. But the Future Group ran into rough weather soon after with spiraling debts, and the partnership never materialized. In August last year, Reliance had acquired the retail arm of the Future Group, and it’s likely that 7-Eleven’s deal with the Future Group has passed on to Reliance as a result.
7-Eleven, for its part, runs the world’s largest chain of convenience stores. The chain was founded in the USA in 1927, and in 1991, a Japanese affiliate had acquired a majority stake in the company. 7-Eleven continues to be headquartered in the US, and runs as many 71,000 stores across 20 countries in the world.
India has no shortage of retail stores, but 7-Eleven could still make a dent in the country’s retail landscape — it will bring with it global best practices and supply chain and logistics strategies which have worked in countries around the world, and put them to practice in India. The 7-Eleven brand could be valuable too — Indians who travel abroad would’ve likely encountered these stores, and could be keen to try them out in their home country. And with the backing of Reliance — which is already India’s largest retailer — 7-Eleven could well look to corner a slice of India’s retail market.