Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ltd plans to open a total of 45 stores of its books and music retailing business — Reliance TimeOut — across India over the next three to five years.

The multi-format retailer, which operates seven stores of TimeOut, said it wants to tap India’s Rs 3,500-crore book retailing industry, of which only 40 per cent is organised.

“In the next 3-5 years (or December 2014), we will have a total of 45 TimeOut outlets across four States — mainly in western and southern India. Our strategy is to first saturate a town, then a State followed by the entire region,” Reliance Retail, Business Head, Reliance TimeOut, Deepinder Kapany told PTI.

He said the next couple of months will see five stores being opened in Mumbai.

“The next few stores in (calender year) 2010 will come up in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bangalore. We want to saturate Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and the National Capital Region (NCR),” Kapany said.

This is part of an overall aggressive expansion strategy by the format, which will enter Pune, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Mysore, Mangalore, Ahmedabad, Baroda and Jamnagar.

Reliance Retail will expand through the cost-effective model of revenue-sharing format with property owners.

Mr. Kapany said the TimeOut format was the “biggest beneficiary” of the economic meltdown of the past year as books, music and stationary continued their sales momentum even as most lifestyle and value retailers world over grappled with depressed sales.

“This is one format which has grown. On an average day, we had footfalls of at least 4,000 to 4,500 in our Delhi and Bangalore stores respectively. Our same store sales growth has been 26 per cent this year,” he said, but declined to reveal revenues for the format.

Mr. Kapany said TimeOut reserves 40 per cent of its shelf space for books, 20 per cent for music and 10 per cent for toys and games.

The remaining 30 per cent space is equally divided between stationery items and gifts, watches and fragrances.

Reliance Retail last week opened a 10,000 sq ft TimeOut store in Mumbai. The company already operates a 42,000 sqft store in Gurgaon and another 21,000 sq ft store in Bangalore among other smaller sized stores.

More In: Companies | Business