Wadhwan Food Retail chief executive quits

Wadhwan Food Retail chief executive quits

Pune: The churn of talent in the country’s booming retail industry continues unabated with Wadhwan Food Retail Ltd, which owns the Spinach chain of retail stores, losing its chief executive officer Dippanker Halder. According to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named, Halder quit last week.

The company is in the middle of an expansion phase and plans to have 1,500 stores by 2010, from the current 94.

Halder, who steered the group’s entry into the retail business just under two years ago, declined to comment. Manish Joshi, head of corporate communications, told Mint the company would only make an announcement about Halder a few days from now.

The company has been on an acquisition spree in the last few months, starting withHindustan Unilever Ltd’s retail home delivery business, Sangam Direct, then the Maratha Co-operative Stores in Mumbai and Delhi-based food and grocery chain Sabka Bazaar’s 35 outlets.

The retailer also acquired the Capital-based lifestyle retail chain, The Home Store, which has a presence in nine cities. While larger retailers such as Reliance Retail and the Aditya Birla Group started the consolidation in the large-format retail business by acquiring other retailers such as Adani Retail and Trinethra, Wadh-wan’s acquisition spree signals consolidation among the smaller players in the business. Its latest acquisition was Bangalore-based neighbourhood food and grocery chain S-Mart with 13 outlets.

The company is also to to get into the hypermarkets business with plans to set up multiple outlets of larger stores, beginning with North India.