Future Retail and Bharti Retail have agreed to merge their retail businesses, a move that will create one of India’s foremost retail networks.

The combined company will have over 570 retail stores across 243 cities in the country including 203 Big Bazaar and easyday hypermarkets, 197 Food Bazaar and easyday supermarkets, and 171 other stores comprising of Home Town, eZone, FBB and Foodhall.

The merger will bolster the companies’ retail footprint in key markets in NCR, Haryana, western UP and Bangalore, while providing larger network to distribute Future Group brands in fashion and FMCG categories.

The retail unit of Future Retail will be demerged into Bharti Retail while the latter’s retail infrastructure business will be demerged into Future Retail, in order to streamline the operations resulting from the consolidation.

This will result in the formation of two separate entities known as Future Retail and Future Enterprises.

Future Retail will include the retail operations of both the entities, while Future Enterprises will include the infrastructure, investments and assets of both the companies.

Commenting on the proposed partnership, Future Group founder and CEO Kishore Biyani said: "Bharti Retail’s strengths and network compliment perfectly with that of Future Retail.

"It will bring us closer to millions of consumers and provide new opportunities for our supply partners. The operational efficiencies that can be derived from the merger will create significant value for our shareholders."