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Reliance Retail aims to expand affordable toy segment with Rowan brand

Reliance Retail to expand into affordable toy segment with Rowan brand

New Delhi:

Reliance Retail is expanding its activities in the growing toy sector through its Rowan brand to operate in the affordable segment with a smaller store size.

The company ran its toy distribution business through Rowan. It has now brought this local brand to the fore by opening its first EBO (exclusive brand store) in Gurugram in the NCR last quarter with a store size of 1,400 square feet.

Under the new format, Reliance Retail, the retail arm of Reliance Industries headed by Mukesh Ambani, will have a range of affordable toys not only from the Rowan brand on its shelves, but also from other brands, said a industry source.

Reliance Retail also owns the iconic British toy retail brand Hamleys. Hamleys is the world’s oldest toy retailer and was acquired by Reliance in 2019, marking the company’s first acquisition of a global retail brand.

Hamleys would continue to operate in the premium space, while the Rowan brand would help Reliance Retail tap into the medium and mass segment with its affordable offerings, the source said.

The unit value of toys will be much lower in Rowan stores and the discounts offered will be higher. Therefore, the products will be more affordable, he added.

Also, unlike Hamleys, Rowan stores will be much smaller in size, ideally measuring between 500 and 1,000 square feet, he noted.

“We also launched Rowan, which is a new format of Reliance as a toy store, which is a small format, usually around 500 to 1,000 square feet, selling more affordable toys. So this format has also launched during this quarter, and we will also see it intensify as it goes,” said Gaurav Jain, Head of Strategy and Business Development at Reliance Retail.

Hamleys currently has a global footprint in 15 countries with over 200 doors and is the largest toy store chain in India.

With both brands in its portfolio, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) is one of the leading toy distributors.

Earlier in June this year, Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL), a unit of RRVL, announced a joint venture with Italian company Plastic Legno SPA and acquired a 40% stake in the toy manufacturing business of this last in India.

According to a joint report by industry body FICCI and KPMG, India’s toy market was estimated at around $1 billion in 2019-20 and is expected to double to $2 billion by 2024-25.


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