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Business News/ Industry / Spencer’s taps affluent India with Artisan Pantry
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Spencer’s taps affluent India with Artisan Pantry

Currently, Nature’s Basket operates 32 stores as an upmarket food retailer

Spencer’s Retail chairman Shashwat Goenka. (Mint)Premium
Spencer’s Retail chairman Shashwat Goenka. (Mint)

New Delhi: To cater to the rising demand among affluent Indians seeking premium goods and services closer home, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group company Spencer’s Retail Ltd is adding a luxury-format initiative to its gourmet retail chain, Nature’s Basket, called Artisan Pantry.

In 2019, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group had acquired Nature’s Basket Ltd from Godrej Industries Ltd for 300 crore. Currently, Nature’s Basket operates 32 stores as an upmarket food retailer.

In contrast, Artisan Pantry will be more luxe, offering imported wines, a diverse range of cheese, a dedicated section for artisan chocolates, honey, gourmet fruits, and vegetables such as Yuzu Lemon, multicolored corn, Japanese Apple Fuji, and more. Besides, the stores will feature a restaurant and live kitchens.

“Traditionally, when you look at Nature’s Basket, it’s essentially in the space of gourmet retailing. What we’re doing with the new Nature’s Basket Artisan Pantry concept, is redefining it, and we’re completely converting it to luxury. The format is going to be very heavy on experiences,"

Shashwat Goenka, chairman, Spencer’s Retail. said at a virtual media roundtable on Thursday. Three Artisan Pantry stores will open in Mumbai and Kolkata by 31 March, and another three to five stores in FY25.

The first store in Mumbai’s Palladium Mall spanning 12,500 sq. ft will open this weekend; an average Nature’s Basket store is about 2,500 sq. ft. Per-store investment will be in the range of 35 crore, but Goenka said they will “give us a lot more revenue per store."

The concept of upmarket grocery stores is popular in the West with formats such as Harrods Food Hall and even M&S Foods, in India it is restricted to the country’s top metros. That’s because India is still a value market.

Chains such as NCR-based Modern Bazaar and the now-shuttered Food Hall have tried to feed this demand for expensive fresh and packaged foods in pockets of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, etc.

Harminder Sahni, managing director at consulting firm Wazir Advisors, said there is room for such formats . “Consumers are upgrading and want differentiation," he said, adding that in the past, such formats have cropped up across watch retailing, specialized apparel clothing, etc.

Goenka added that the Artisan Pantry stores will add a lot more to overall profitability of the retail business . “These concept stores are targeted to break even in the second month of operations," he said.

Spencer’s traditional flagship format, meanwhile, continues to offer a range of mid-market products such as food items, fashion, personal care, electrical, electronics and home essentials.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 25 Nov 2023, 07:00 AM IST
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