Hyderabad, November 3:

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, has launched its $5.6 billion foray into retail trade business by opening 11 pilot stores for selling fresh fruits and vegetables, household staples, top-up grocery and dairy products.

The new enterprise - being powered by group company Reliance Retail Ltd - will eventually have its footprint across the country with future plans for discount stores, malls, supermarkets, hypermarkets, speciality stores and conveniences.

“Our target is to open Reliance Fresh stores in 70 cities over the next 18-24 months. The focus is on freshness and hygiene and a world class supply chain has been put into place to ensure that high quality products are offered at very competitive rates,” said Gunender Kapur, president and CEO, foods, Reliance Retail.

“We are planning to have a pan-India presence. However, the next city after Hyderabad in which we are going to set up Reliance Fresh is yet to be decided,” Raghu Pillai, CEO of operations, Reliance Retail, said.

The 11 pilot Reliance Fresh stores in this Andhra Pradesh capital will remain open from 8 am to 9 pm seven days a week.