The notice on the Reliance store entrance in Dhanbad on Monday. (Gautam Dey)
The two Reliance Super stores in Dhanbad witnessed unprecedented rush on Monday as customers poured in to make the most of massive discounts amid reports that the retail giant is wrapping up business in the coal city.
Serpentine queues were witnessed at both the Ozone Plaza and City Centre outlets, which are offering around 50 per cent discounts on crockery and other kitchen items for a week even as banners hung outside, announcing the shift of the stores.
The notices, which informed that the outlets would be last functioning on June 8, didn’t mention the new address, triggering speculations that they would be shut down for good even though local authorities denied receiving any such intimation.
On Monday, the main gates of the twin stores floated by Reliance Retail Limited, a subsidiary company of Reliance Industries Limited, remained closed while customers were allowed in from the rear door. Private security guards had been roped in to control the crowd that stood at over 20,000 each at the two addresses.
“I came to know about the closure of the outlet and discount offer from a friend. I immediately rushed to buy a dinner set for Rs 400 and other items. It’s foolish to let go of such an opportunity,” said Munna Singh (26), a resident of Kusunda who went to the City Centre outlet.
The store managers denied the closure reports.
“We have yet not received any information regarding the closure of our outlet from our headquarters in Mumbai. The discounts being offered are routine,” maintained Abhijeet Kumar, store manager, Reliance Super, Ozone Plaza.
When asked about the relocation of the store, he also could not say anything about the new place from where the mini mart is expected to re-start operations.
Senior general manager of Reliance Industries Limited Supriyo Samadar posted in Ranchi said: “A final decision will be taken by our Mumbai headquarters.”
The Ozone Plaza Reliance Super opened doors in Dhanbad on August 12, 2011. The City Centre outlet was launched six months later.
While the Ozone Plaza store is spread over 20,000 square feet and has 11 check-out counters and 62 staff, the City Centre mart measures 25,000 square feet and has 75 employees on the payroll. A range of 4,500 products, including grocery items, fruits, vegetables, bakery items and cosmetics, are available at the two outlets.