Add comment| August 15, 2008Reliance Retail is now entering into a joint venture with leading European supply chainspecialist Wincanton for giving a boost to its food and grocery and hypermarket businesses. The venture will do a lot for Indian retail. The synergy would enable Relianceto efficiently run its critical back-end operations, which essentially include warehousingof goods and transporting them to stores on time. The latest move by India’s largestcorporate house, which jumped on the retail bandwagon two years ago by promising todo everything on its own, seems to suggest that it now needs a partner for almost everyretail initiative.Industry observers believe that the company has expanded very fast and has managed toset up over 600 stores across various retail formats in less than two years, but its supplychain is in a mess. “How to get the right merchandise to the stores on time has been its biggest problem. You’d often not find the goods you want in Reliance’s food and groceryoutlets,” said a source.
Add comment| August 14, 2008Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries that currently operates over 700 retail stores inmultiple formats in India announced a 50-50 partnership with US-based real estateinvestment trust Vornado to collectively invest $500 million in a shopping mall jointventure. RIL is India’s largest public company with revenues in excess of $34 billion anda market capitalization of over $75 billion.Vornado Realty Trust, on the other hand is afully-integrated equity real estate investment trust. It is one of the largest owners andmanagers of real estate in the United States with a portfolio of over 100 million squarefeet in its major platforms, primarily located in New York and Washington, DC metroareas.Under the JV, RIL and Vornado Realty Trust would commit up to $250 million each toacquire, develop and operate retail shopping centers across key cities in India. “Theshopping centers will contain 500,000 to 1,000,000 or more square feet and typically beanchored by a hypermarket to be owned and operated by Reliance, Vornado said. Vornadohas an aggregate investment in other India joint ventures of approximately $91 millionand capital commitments to these ventures of an additional $92 million. Vornado’s other real estate investments include 32.8 per cent interest in Alexander’s Inc, 32.7 per centinterest in Toys “R” Us and Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. Total real estate owned
or managed, including pro-rata share of partially-owned entities and joint ventures, isover 100 million square feet, including Vornado’s 16 million square feet of Toys “R” Usreal estate.Read More »
Add comment| August 13, 2008After the Bharti-Walmart deal, the Tata Group, are signing up a partnership agreementwith Tesco, UK’s largest retailer, to launchretail businessin India. Tesco and the Tata’swill sign a 50:50 joint venture for cash and carry and a franchisee agreement for thefront-end. A formal announcement is expected very soon.This is the most viable option for foreign retailers wanting to enter India as Indiangovernment does not allow foreign direct investment in direct-to-consumer retail thatsells many brands and products. Those who know the culture of both Tesco and Wal-Martsays that they complement each other. Both are conservative companies who treadcautiously. They wouldn’t make gigantic plans which would be difficult to follow later.Both would take one step at a time, given the low consumer sentiments and still-high realestate prices.Read More »
Add comment| July 24, 2008In the midst of a general slow down in theIndian real estate market, TAIB Bank, aleading private bank based in Bahrain, has picked up a 26% stake in Anant Raj Projectsfor Rs 216 crore. The deal, one of the first Shari’ah-compliant transactions in the Indianreal estate industry, puts the valuation of the subsidiary of New Delhi-based Anant RajIndustries (ARIL) at Rs 831 crore.TAIB Bank has routed the investment through its real estate investment arm Acacia RealEstate. Anand Raj Projects plans to develop of 600,000 sqft of retail space which isexpected to be operational by first half of 2009. The proceeds of the transaction will beinvested in this project. DTZ India, the Indian subsidiary of DTZ Holdings, andInternational Property Consultant were the advisors to the transaction.Read More »
Add comment| July 18, 2008The hiring frenzy thatIndia’s booming retail sector witnessed in the last two yearsappears to be cooling off, particularly at the middle and senior management levels.Recruitment firms suggest that the April-June quarter has seen a slowdown in hiring atsenior levels as most retailers already have their middle and senior management in placeand the tepid hiring is seen continuing into the next quarter as well.A report by staffing company says that growth in retail sector hiring will be flattish in thecoming months. “On the managerial side, we have already filled a major part of our requirements. Since the back-end is firmly in place, we do not need to add too many people. But we will continue to hire at the shopfloor level as we are expanding rapidly,”Bijou Kurien, president and chief executive (lifestyle), Reliance Retail, said.
Add comment| May 28, 2008Carrefour, the world’s second largestretailer , is considering the franchise model toinitially expand its presence in the country and may announce a local partner in four weeks, people involved in the development said.The French retailer, which has held talks with as many as 50 domestic business housesincluding Mumbai-based Wadia group and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries andreal estate companies, such as DLF, in the past five years, may choose Parsvnath, a NewDelhi-based real estate company, as its partner.Read More »