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Arts and Craftsmanship

This new concept goes standalone in Hyderabad




MUMBAI-BASED RELIANCE Retail is India’s biggest retail group, and recently, it unveiled the first standalone store for Swadesh, one of its many brands. The 20,000-square-foot store is in the southern Indian megalopolis of Hyderabad and is the first of three planned locations – the others will be in Mumbai and New Delhi this year (the Hyderabad store opened toward the end of 2023).

Arts and Craftsmanship

Swadesh is a retailer dedicated to showcasing Indian products and craftsmanship. With this in mind, Reliance looked across a spectrum of international design firms when it decided to open a standalone Swadesh, according to Ken Nisch, Chairman of JGA (Southfield, Mich.), the consultancy that was selected to work collaboratively with FRDC (Future Research Design Co.; Bangalore) to make this a reality.

“They particularly looked at firms with museum and digital experience, and we started work on this in March 2021,” Nisch says. He adds that as Swadesh is a “real mix of merchandise,” it was important to create a flexible environment, and there was a lot of prototyping of the equipment installed in the Hyderabad store.

Arts and Craftsmanship this page: Swadesh’s store layout incorporated dedicated space for local artisans to work, allowing shoppers to witness a product’s creation firsthand.

With craftsmanship as one of the focuses, a lot of local detailing was incorporated into the fixturing, which works well contrasting the store’s location in a modern shopping center. In the store, there are dedicated demonstration spaces where shoppers can witness the creation process firsthand.


Arts and Craftsmanship this page: With two more locations set to open this year, Swadesh’s first standalone store in Hyderabad showcases locally crafted merchandise and honors traditional craftsmanship through its detailed design.

It is also worth noting that while the Hyderabad store is part of a contemporary retail structure, the branches in Delhi and Mumbai will not be. In Delhi, the Swadesh store will be in Connaught Circus, a time-honored piece of colonial architecture in the city center, and in Mumbai, shoppers will head into a building that is an Art Deco piece. It is a testament to the flexibility of the design that it can be realized.

Plans are in place to take the Swadesh store format to the U.S. and Europe.





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