Friday, March 31

Nature’s Basket in city soon

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Nature’s Basket, the upmarket food-only retailer, will soon step into Calcutta as its new owners plan to open 10-15 stores in the city.

RP-SG Group, which owns hypermart Spencer’s, acquired the Mumbai-based Nature’s Basket from Godrej Group in May for Rs 300 crore. The chain operates 36 stores in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore.

Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said the group was looking for the right real estate to open the first store soon. Alipore, Ballygunje, Salt Lake, Rajarhat and Dalhousie are some of the locations where the stores will eventually come up.

“We want to start off with a large signature store in Calcutta. It will be Nature’s Basket, plus plus (sic),” Goenka said, highlighting that more features would be added to the existing format.

The Mumbai-based brand usually operates in compact formats (under 2,500 square foot). However, the signature store in Calcutta is going to be spread over 10,000-square-foot and is likely to have a café attached to it.

Nature’s Basket, which has a strong private label for food items, will operate at a premium price point compared with Spencer’s and hence they would not cannibalise each other’s customers, Goenka said. The success of Quest Mall makes Goenka bullish about this premium brand. However, Spencer’s competitor Future Retail is wary of bringing its pre- mium platform, Foodhall, to this city because the buyers here are price-sensitive.

“It is the third highest grossing mall in the country. But its certainly not the third largest by area, which means sales per square feet is high. I believe Calcutta is willing to buy if the products are made available,” Goenka said.

Quest Mall, part of the group, is the only address for luxury fashion labels such as Burberry and Gucci in Calcutta.

Phillips Carbon RP-SG Group is spending close to Rs 100 crore on research & development annually across several companies, especially Phillips Carbon Black Ltd (PCBL) and Guiltfree Industries, an FMCG firm.

PCBL set up its first R&D centre at Palej, Gujarat. The centre was named after Sushila Goenka, Sanjiv Goenka’s mother. It will soon set up one more centre in Europe. Guiltfree is developing new personal care products using ayurveda formulations, Goenka said.


Source: The Telegraph

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