Reliance Retail to open luxury stores under ‘Swadesh’ brand globally


Reliance Retail is preparing to launch a chain of luxury stores for ethnic handicrafts under its Swadesh brand, both in India and internationally, according to a report by The Economic Times. These stores will feature upscale ethnic handicrafts, fusion clothing, jewellery, blue pottery, silverware, home decor, and carpets.

To advance this venture, Reliance is engaging in discussions with high-end designers and artisans worldwide to form strategic partnerships. Although the retail giant has not yet disclosed which countries will see the introduction of the Swadesh brand, a store will likely open in major Indian cities.

The Swadesh stores will integrate with JioMart, Reliance’s e-commerce platform. The handicraft initiative is currently collaborating with approximately 10,000 artisans and has ambitions to onboard more than one million artisans and weavers by 2025. The planned stores, each occupying around 30,000 to 35,000 square feet, are expected to be situated in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. Reports indicate that the company-owned stores will bear similarities to government-run cottage-industry emporiums but will offer more upscale products.

This development aligns with Reliance’s strategy to capitalise on the burgeoning market for ethnic handicrafts. The sector is experiencing rapid growth, propelled by micro-entrepreneurs, handicraft start-ups, and direct-to-consumer platforms. Research firm IMARC Group predicts, as reported by ET, that the market will expand to $6.21 billion by 2028, up from $3.96 billion in 2022.

The announcement follows closely on the heels of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) investing Rs 4,966.80 crore in Reliance Retail Ventures. This investment will result in ADIA acquiring an equity stake of 0.59 per cent in the company on a fully diluted basis. Reliance Retail Ventures has also recently secured funding from the Qatar Investment Authority and KKR.


First Published: Oct 11 2023 | 1:42 PM IST


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