India Markets closed

Explained: What acquisition of Hamley’s means for Reliance

It is pertinent to note that Reliance already operated 85 Hamleys stores in India under a licensing agreement.

Reliance Retail’s arm Reliance Brands, which operates several marquee brands across the country, announced purchase of 100 per cent stake in UK-based toymaker Hamleys, adding to the list of Reliance’s portfolio ahead of the company’s e-commerce foray. It is pertinent to note that Reliance already operated 85 Hamleys stores in India under a licensing agreement.

List of Brands

Prior to the toymaker, Reliance had purchased fashion and lifestyle brand John Players from ITC and acquired a majority share in retail firm Genesis that had rights to sell major international brands such as Emporio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, among others.

Over the years, especially post the launch of Reliance Jio, the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has significantly shifted its focus from industry-led businesses such as oil and petrochemicals to consumer-facing operations such as telecom and retail, and is now looking to leverage both of these aspects to make its mark in the online commerce segment.

Inorganic route

For its telecom and digital business too, Reliance has gone the inorganic way to expand. While RIL acquired Den Networks and Hathway Cable and Datacom to further its broadband network capabilities, the company and its arm Jio have acquired stakes in several firms to strengthen its content and technology offerings. These include music streaming app Saavn, production house Balaji Telefilms, AI-based education platform Embibe, AI startup Haptik, among others.

Don’t miss from Express Explained | From the Express archives: Rajiv Gandhi in Lakshadweep