India’s trust: Mukesh Ambani brings 7-Eleven to the country

Reliance Retail, the trading arm of the Mukesh Ambani conglomerate, announced Thursday that it will open the first 7-Eleven stores in India, just days after the fast-service chain lost its local partner.

The two don’t seem to waste any time: Reliance says the first 7-Eleven store will open in Mumbai on Saturday, in just two days.

“This will be followed by rapid deployment in key neighborhoods and shopping areas,” with an initial focus on the Greater Mumbai region, Reliance Retail added in a statement. Stores should offer customers personalized drinks and snacks based on local preferences.

Ambani is the richest person in India, with a net worth of $ 99.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Isha Ambani, his daughter and director of Reliance Retail, helped announce the deal.

The announcement came just days after 7-Eleven pulled out of a deal with another large local retailer.

On Tuesday, Future Retail said it had reached a mutual agreement with 7-Eleven to cancel an existing partnership to develop and operate stores across the country.

In a brief statement, Future Retail said it “was unable to meet the required goal of opening stores and paying franchise fees”.

The company has previously said the pandemic has had a “significant negative impact” on its business operations. Recently, Reliance has been intent on acquiring Future Retail, although it is locked in a fierce legal battle with Amazon (AMZN) for months on the potential deal.
In August, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favor of Amazon’s efforts to stop the acquisition.
In recent months, Ambani has revealed aggressive ambitions to take on both Amazon and Walmart (WMT), which dominate online shopping in India. Reliance is building JioMart, an e-commerce platform that could eventually offer everything from electronics and clothing to pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
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In a statement Thursday, Isha Ambani said Reliance Retail was “proud” to team up with 7-Eleven, “among the most iconic global brands in the convenience retail landscape.”

Joe DePinto, CEO of SEI, owner of 7-Eleven, added in the same statement that the new merger would help bring the chain “to millions of Indian consumers.”

“India is the second largest country in the world and has one of the fastest growing economies,” he said. “Now is the perfect time for the world’s largest convenience retailer to make our entrance.”

– Diksha Madhok contributed to this report.

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