Reliance Retail, through its brand Rowan, is expanding its business in the fast growing toy segment to cater to the affordable segment as well as small shop sizes.
The company was running its toy distribution business through Rowan. It has now brought this homegrown brand to the fore by opening its first EBO (Exclusive Brand Outlet) in Gurugram, NCR last quarter with a store size of 1,400 sq ft.
An industry source said that under this new format, Reliance Retail, the retail arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, will have a range of affordable toys not only from the Rowan brand but also from other brands.
Reliance Retail also owns the prestigious British toy retail brand Hamleys. Hamleys is the world’s oldest toy retailer and was acquired by Reliance in 2019, the first acquisition of a global retail brand by the company.
The source added that while Hamleys will continue to operate in the premium space, the brand Rowan will help Reliance Retail tap the mid-premium and mass segment with its affordable offerings.
The unit price of toys at Rowan stores will be much lower, and the discounts offered will be higher. Therefore, the products will be more affordable, he said.
Also, unlike Hamleys, Rowan Stores will have a much smaller store size, ideally between 500-1,000 square feet, he said.
“We also launched Rowan, a new form of Reliance as a toy store, which is a smaller format, typically around 500-1,000 square feet in size, selling more affordable toys. So, this quarter That format also launched during 2015, and as we move forward, we will see it even faster,” said Gaurav Jain, Reliance Retail Head of Strategy and Business Development.
Hamleys currently has a global footprint in 15 countries with over 200 doors and is India’s largest chain of toy stores.
With both the brands in its portfolio, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) is one of the leading toy distributors.
Earlier this year, Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL), a unit of RRVL, announced a joint venture with Italian company Plastics Legno S.p.A and acquired 40 per cent stake in the latter’s toy manufacturing business in India.
According to a joint report by industry body FICCI and KPMG, the Indian toy market was worth around $1 billion in 2019-20 and is expected to double to $2 billion by 2024-25.