Reliance Industries in India has aligned with U.S.-based luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co to open a line of stores in the country, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Aug. 7).
Known for its classic blue boxes and diamond jewelry, Tiffany’s is planning stores in New Delhi later this year and in Mumbai in the second half of 2020, the company told the news outlet. India's "growing luxury consumer base presents a unique opportunity," the company said.
The deal is Tiffany’s latest global expansion effort as demand has fallen off in the U.S. and Europe.
Reliance, headed by Asian billionaire tycoon Mukesh Ambani, aims to expand its retail and telecom holdings to reach the level of its high-performing oil and gas business.
Reliance Industries started gearing up in February to invest 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) as part of its efforts to diversify into eCommerce. The move came as new eCommerce rules in India took effect, affecting multinational online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
Reliance Industries already has retail stores in operation that sell clothes, groceries and more. The idea behind the company’s “new commerce” eCommerce initiative is to connect small merchants with a retail network and warehouses to help the merchants handle inventory, the report said. At the time, it was reported that the investment would go to increase the warehouse space in West Bengal over the next two years. Ambani said that Reliance’s eCommerce platform would “bring win-win benefits to consumers, retailers and producers” and help 30 million small merchants.
Under the new eCommerce rules, foreign companies can’t own stakes in the merchants and are prohibited from striking exclusive deals. It has forced both Amazon and Walmart to overhaul their operations in India, resulting in a rise in costs to operate in the country.