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Sephora Makes India Push with Reliance Retail

Published November 6, 2023
Published November 6, 2023

The beauty arm of Reliance Retail, by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's conglomerate Reliance Industries, will acquire the rights for Sephora India from Arvind Fashions for 990.2 million rupees ($11.89 million). Established in 2006, Reliance Retail has grown to become India's largest retailer and has pioneered India's retail revolution, with 3 million daily transactions, 249 million registered customers buying across all its formats, and a footfall of more than 780 million across all its stores in FY23.

"We are tremendously excited to partner with the largest retail group in India to step-change our business. Rising affluence, increasing urbanization, and the proliferation of social media have driven greater awareness of self-care and beauty, unlocking major opportunities for prestige beauty. It is an opportune time for us to invest in expanding our presence, and bring new, exciting, and exclusive brands to delight our growing community of beauty enthusiasts," said Alia Gogi, Asia President, Sephora.

India's largest retailer has had the $17 billion Indian beauty sector in its sights. Earlier this year, Reliance was in advance talks to get the rights for beauty retailer Sephora in India; however, it was reported at that time that the LVMH-owned beauty retailer chose to continue its relationship with Arvind Fashions, who has held the franchise for the Indian market since 2015.

"We are excited and proud to partner with Sephora, a global leader in beauty. The burgeoning Indian beauty market is being propelled by a new generation of customers with a strong desire to express their individuality, rising aesthetic refinement, and a growing number of women in the young workforce of India. The Indian consumerism journey is at a tipping point, providing the perfect tailwind to this partnership. Importantly this partnership will help us straddle across the value chain in the beauty and personal care segment," said V. Subramaniam, Director of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited.

The Arvind Fashions deal will transfer current master franchise rights for Sephora's operations of 26 stores across 13 cities in India to Reliance Beauty and Personal Care, positioning the Indian conglomerate to take on the likes of Nykaa and Tata Group in the quest for the Indian beauty consumer.

Reliance Retail is also developing its own multi-brand omnichannel retail format under the Tria brand. The first store launched in April at the Jio World Drive mall in Mumbai's BKC area, carrying mass and premium international and local brands in a 4,300-square-foot tech-powered retail concept offering a personalized shopping experience.

Simrita Dhillon, founder of Sanda Brands, a US company that helps international brands access India's complex consumer market, shared, "Reliance buying Sephora India from Arvind demonstrates their commitment to be a big force to reckon with, in the fast growing beauty market in India. This clearly signals their serious intent to be on the forefront of the beauty market in India. Reliance's aggressive ambitions will catapult the India Beauty market into acceleration mode, which will be good for all players. I see it as an indication of how important the Beauty and personal care market will be in the next decade for the region."


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