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Through its Rowan brand, Reliance Retail is stepping into the affordable toy section, the fast-growing market.

Through its Rowan brand, Reliance Retail is stepping into the affordable toy section, the fast-growing market.

Reliance Retail is extending its company into the growing toy industry to compete in the affordable market with smaller shops, through its brand Rowan.

Rowan toys and other manufacturers’ affordable toys would be available at Reliance Retail, the retail division of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.

The company has relied on Rowan to run its distribution of toys business. In the most recent quarter, Gurugram in the National Capital Region became home to the company’s first Exclusive Brand Outlet (EBO). This store has a 1,400-square-foot footprint.

According to a source in the company, Reliance Retail would carry a variety of less-priced toys from other manufacturers in addition to Rowan on its shelves under this new form.

Reliance Brands picks Sumeet Yadav to head Hamleys - The Economic Times

The venerable British toy retailer Hamleys is a part of Reliance Retail.

Reliance acquired the oldest toy shop in the world, Hamleys, in 2019, making it the company’s first acquisition of a major international retail brand.

According to the source, Rowan would help Reliance Retail reach the mid-premium and mass market with its less-priced things while Hamleys would continue to operate in the premium market.

Toys will have a lower unit price and more reductions in Rowan outlets. As a result, he argued, things will be more inexpensive.

Additionally, he added, Rowan stores will be notably smaller than Hamleys, occupying between 500 and 1,000 square feet.

“We opened Rowan, a new Reliance toy store type with a smaller footprint of between 500 and 1,000 square feet that sells toys at reasonable prices. This format was first used this quarter, and over time it will become more prevalent,” Gaurav Jain, director of strategy and business development at Reliance Retail, said.

Hamleys, the largest toy retailer in India, now operates in 15 countries and has more than 200 entrances.

Fortune India: Business News, Strategy, Finance and Corporate Insight

Reliance earlier entered into a Joint Venture business with a toymaker.

In a Joint Venture agreement, Reliance Brands Ltd. (RBL) and Plastic Legno SPA agreed that RBL would purchase a 40% stake in the European company’s toy manufacturing operation in India.

According to a statement from the company, this investment has the dual benefit of adding vertical integration to the company’s toy business and assisting in Supply Chain diversification with a long-term strategic aim of establishing toy production in India.

The Sunino group, which has produced toys in Europe for over 25 years, is the owner of Plastic Legno SPA. The group launched its India operation in 2009 in response to the necessity to establish a strong Production Base that would serve both the developing and rising Indian market and international markets too.

“It’s a great honor for us to have them to be a collaborator on this project. We are certain that the combination of Hamley’s commercial reach and our experience in the toy industry will help the JV firm succeed,” said Paolo Sunino, co-owner of Sunino Group.

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), one of the top distributors of toys, has both brands in its portfolio.

Reliance Brands Ltd. (RBL), a division of RRVL, established a Joint Venture with Italian firm Plastic Legno SPA and bought a 40% stake in the latter’s toy manufacturing business in India earlier in June of this year.

The Indian toy market was forecast to be worth roughly USD 1 billion in 2019–20 and is estimated to quadruple to USD 2 billion by 2024–25, according to a joint analysis by industry group FICCI and KPMG.

India's toy industry can't meet domestic demand, expectation | India News -  Times of India

Fast-growing demand for affordable toy segment in India

To add to a child’s entire development, toys are now very much used in homes and play schools all around India. They come in a variety of sizes, hues, and forms.

The country’s rising population is one of the key elements influencing India’s rising toy consumption. As income levels rise and public knowledge of the benefits of toys in increasing children’s cognitive abilities, the market in the country is expected to grow. Additionally, a shift in consumer preferences away from regular toys and toward modern, high-tech electronic toys is supporting business expansion. Accordingly, the market in India is being propelled by the growing demand for sensory toys for kids with special needs.

Manufacturers are being inspired to create unique toys at an affordable price by the entry of modern technology and equipment, which is resulting in a strong market outlook. A positive market view is being provided by the development of organized distribution networks and the growth of the e-commerce sector, which gives doorstep delivery, good deals, and safe payment options. Additionally, the market is extending because of the rising sales of smartphones, laptops, and personal computers and the growing importance of social media too.

Infant/preschool toys are the most popular category of toys based on toy type since they aid in the development of children’s motor and problem-solving skills. Electronic toys, games, puzzles, dolls, ride-ons, sports, and outdoor playthings are popular toy categories.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma 

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