Pantaloon Retail will launch into food gourmet next week

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This Christmas, the foodies of Delhi can look forward to taste a new experience as Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd, India’s largest publicly traded retailer, is set to make its formal entry into the gourmet food business with its Gourmet Food Bazaar coming up on December 22 at the Select Citywalk mall in south Delhi.

Confirming the news to Indiaretailing, Pranay Sinha, the CEO of Select Citywalk, said “this is going to be the only one of its kind in the mall.”

According to Sinha, the food outlet will be a 6,000 square feet arena in the mall and target customers who don’t mind spending a few extra bucks for delicacies.

Confirming the launch, Damodar Mall, CEO, innovation and incubation, Future Group, told Indiaretailing that “we are opening it in the next week and we can only talk after that.”

However, in an earlier statement, Mall said that this is a part of their pre-announced plan to cater to the changing food habits of consumers. “We believe in food. Also, there is the customer who is ready for more lifestyle shopping, more branded items and more international cuisine.”

This endeavour of the company is quite in sync with plans to cash in on the growing food and grocery market in the country. Retailers like the Mumbai-based Hypercity Retail Pvt. Ltd and Godrej Agrovet Ltd have already entered or are planning to leap into the sector.

This might be because of the fact that consumers today are upgrading their diets to include higher valued products than in the past, as reported in “Factors Shaping Global Food Markets” by Mark Gehlhar & Anita Regmi. The report further states that, competing in the global food industry is a complex undertaking, as firms must continually react to the demands of wealthier and more selective consumers for higher quality and more varied products.

According to survey reports, the food retail business in India is expected to double at $482 billion by 2020, as against $236 billion in 2006. It is further estimated that the size of the ‘consuming’ category people, with annual incomes anywhere between $5,200 and $25,000, will increase from 95 million in 2006-07 to 127 million by 2014-15.

According to India Retail Report 2007, the food and grocery segment constitutes 62 per cent of the Rs 1,200,000 crore ($270 billion) Indian retail market.

– Satrajit Sen

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