Reliance Retail in JV with Dutch firm for optical chain

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Mumbai March: Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has signed a joint venture (JV) pact with Pearle Europe, a subsidiary of HAL Investments, a Netherlands based investment major in Europe, to set up a chain of optical stores at its hyper-marts, super stores and wellness stores. The JV, which will seek regulatory approvals and formalize the plans within the next few months, will sell private label frames, lenses, sunglasses, contact lenses and solutions based on contemporary optometric technology backed by trained optometrists and support staff, said the company. Pearle Europe operates 2,200 optical retail stores in 21 countries in Europe and West Asia. HAL Investments also owns many optical retail chains in China, Russia, Turkey and Brazil. "This joint venture underscores our commitment to bring world class partnerships to India, to service the changing needs of the customer, blending the capabilities of Pearle Europe, a leader in the optical retail industry, and Reliance Retail," said Bijou Kurien, President and Chief Executive (lifestyle division), Reliance Retail.