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The ₹2,850 crore acquisition of Metro Cash & Carri India Pvt Ltd will help Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) expand its warehouse network for B2B e-commerce JioMart Kirana as well as its B2C hypermart business, sources close to the company said. Metro has 31 large format stores in 21 cities. Most are either freehold or long-term leases, the CEO says.

Reliance Retail had a cash and carry business, Reliance Market, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. But these facilities have been decommissioned and converted into warehouses/fulfillment centers to support kirana’s e-commerce business. Metro’s business will also be reshaped to suit Reliance’s requirements, sources added.

“As a foreign investor, Metro has restrictions in entering retail in India. Reliance has no such restrictions and it will help change the store format in whatever way they want,” says an industry expert.

Metro started as the first cash-and-carry retailer in 2003, but anticipated changes in foreign investment restrictions. There are about 3,500 employees in the country. The multi-channel cash-and-carry wholesaler has a reach of over 3 million B2B customers in India, 1 million of whom are frequent shoppers, through its store network and eB2B app.

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