Future Retail's Big Bazaar Stores Suspend Operations as Reliance Plans Takeover
Future Retail Limited has over 1,700 stores across brands that include Big Bazaar, FBB, and Central.
Future Retail Limited suspended most of their online and offline operations and most of their stores as Reliance made moves to take over the retail major.
The chain has over 1,700 stores across brands that include Big Bazaar, FBB and Central.
As per a Reuters report, sources said that Reliance Industries Limited will rebrand the Future stores after the company failed to make payments for them to Reliance.
Big Bazaar told a customer on Twitter that stores are non-operational for two days. The tweet read, "We regret to inform you that stores are non-operational for 2 days. We would request you to check details on below link after 2 days or you can visit nearest Big Bazaar store for further assistance." The tweet had a link to the Big Bazaar website.
Future's e-commerce mobile app and website were also not available for ordering online.
According to a report by Business Standard, sources said that landlords had started terminating lease agreements with Future Retail and several landlords had approached Reliance Industries and the leases for those stores were signed with the Mukesh Ambani-run company and were then sub-leased to Future Retail.
In a stock exchange filing, the company said that it had received termination notices from quite a few stores due to outstanding dues and that it would no longer have access to such premises. It added that it would be scaling down operations in order to reduce losses.
As the group reduces the number of stores, Reliance will rebrand those 200 stores as its own.
Since 2020, Reliance has been trying to close a $3.4 billion deal to acquire the retail assets of Future Retail, whose partner Amazon.com Inc has blocked the transaction by citing violation of contracts.
The move upsets Amazon's plans as it had hoped to have a share of the Future Retail's stores. However, landlords appear to have independently given the leases to Reliance, a lawyer familiar with the dispute said.
(With inputs from Reuters and Business Standard.)
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