Sharp Re­turns to In­dia with Re­liance Re­tail

Re­tailer to get rights for Ja­panese co’s prod­ucts for 3 years other than phones

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Wri­tankar.Mukher­jee @times­

Kolkata: Sharp is re-en­ter­ing In­dia in an al­liance with Re­liance In­dus­tries, with the Ja­panese elec­tronic brand’s cur­rent owner Fox­conn con­clud­ing a dis­tri­bu­tion and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment ar­range­ment with Re­liance Re­tail, the re­tail­ing arm of the coun­try’s most valu­able com­pany.

Two se­nior in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives said Re­liance Re­tail has the rights for the Sharp brand for tele­vi­sion and home ap­pli­ances such as re­frig­er­a­tors, wash­ing ma­chines and air-con­di­tion­ers for three years, and the ar­range­ment will be ex­tended if the re­sponse is ro­bust.

Re­liance will sell Sharp through its con­sumer elec­tron­ics chain of more than 2,000 Re­liance Dig­i­tal stores, and will also dis­trib­ute them to other re­tail­ers through its dis­tri­bu­tion arm that cur­rently sells only mo­bile phones. The Sharp range will be man­u­fac­tured in In­dia at Fox­conn plants and Re­liance has just made a soft-launch of the Sharp air-con­di­tion­ers, with two mod­els. The port­fo­lio will be ex­panded and will in­clude newer cat­e­gories such as the 8K tele­vi­sion, which no other man­u­fac­turer has launched in In­dia yet.

How­ever, Fox­conn has re­tained the rights for Sharp

smart­phones in In­dia. These will be launched by the yearend, the ex­ec­u­tives said.

Re­liance Dig­i­tal CEO Brian Bade said the re­tailer has en­tered into a long-term ex­clu­sive part­ner­ship for the Sharp brand across all chan­nels. An email sent to Fox­conn did not elicit any re­sponse un­til the pub­li­ca­tion of this re­port.

An in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tive said that even though Sharp had ex­ited In­dia by end-2015 due to global losses and an even­tual sell-out to Fox­conn, the brand has huge re­call value and, hence, Re­liance Re­tail wants to cap­i­talise on it.

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