Home / Companies / RPG to launch foreign coffee brand in India, open food chain

The retail arm of RPG Enterprises Ltd is planning to bring an international coffee chain to India with 400 outlets over the next two years and open launch food chain.

“The deal is almost done," said Sanjiv Goenka, vice-chairman of RPG, but he declined to name the international coffee chain. Goenka said he hopes to roll out the first coffee outlet by October.

He declined to say whether RPG will open the foreign coffee chain’s franchisee stores in India or it would be a joint venture between the two companies. He also wouldn’t share investment details.

According to industry estimates, the number of branded coffee outlets in India is expected to more than double to 2,500 stores in the next four years from about 1,200 at present.

Coffee sold through branded outlets is worth Rs500-600 crore a year at present and that market is expected to swell three times in the next five years, the estimates show.

Chains such as Costa Coffee, Gloria Jeans and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf are among the foreign brands that have opened stores in India.

Separately, Spencer’s Retail Ltd, the RPG arm, also plans to start a food chain selling items from imported Italian cheese to Mars ice cream.

“Our plans are ready and hopefully (roll-out will be) in the next six months," Goenka said, adding that the floor space of the stores will be in the range of 8,000-10,000 sq. ft and that the stores will stock about 30,000 different items.

Late last year, India’s largest listed retailer, Pantaloon Retail India Ltd, entered the business with a Gourmet Food Bazaar store in New Delhi.

Mumbai-based HyperCity Retail Pvt. Ltd is also planning to launch stores called GourmetCity later this year. HyperCity, which runs a hypermarket in Mumbai’s western suburb of Malad, has a counter for imported cheeses, handmade chocolates, cold cuts, marinated meats, a bakery and stocks gourmet food from British supermarket chain, Waitrose.

“Its an aspirational country," Goenka said. “All of us aspire to better and experiment."

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