Reliance BP Mobility, the fuel marketing joint venture of Reliance Industries and UK’s BP, is looking to turn a number of its fuel stations into highway retailing parks jointly with Reliance Retail.
Reliance Retail will open its Smart Point convenience outlets, digital stores, charging points for electric vehicles, cafés and other food and beverages retailing formats next to the fuel stations, the people said. Reliance BP is also talking to chains such as Domino’s Pizza and McDonald’s to open outlets at its properties.
The move is aimed at tapping into the growing concept of highway retailing in India and leveraging its properties, the people said. “Retail development will only happen in petrol pumps where retailing is feasible, and on the highways,” said one of the people.
Development of world-class highways and the growing number of Indians taking road trips have opened new opportunities for highway retailing in India.
Property consultant Knight Frank said India’s highway retailing of food and beverages would offer a $2.7-billion opportunity by 2030. India’s road network of 5.8 million kilometres in 2017 was only second to the US, it said in a report last year.
Reliance had tried its hands at highway retailing some years ago with food and beverage outlets on many of its petrol pumps, but the concept did not take off at that time.
“Now they are reviving it big time,” said a second person.
Others are also taking initiatives to club retailing options with fuel stations along India’s highways.
Singapore-based Cube Highways has tied up with Bharat Petroleum, the country’s second-largest fuel retailer, to open branded food outlets, convenience shops and toilets facilities at petrol pumps.