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March 20, 2006

Life after FoodWorld for RPG Retail

Businessworld has an article on the RPG Group's plans for retail parting with its FoodWorld joint venture.
Right now, the plans to move on seem to be in top gear at the Rs 450-crore RPG Retail as it tries to make up for lost time and opportunity. From about 0.6 million sq. ft currently, Goenka plans to take his retail footprint to over 3.5 million sq. ft by March 2008, which should include over 50 hypermarkets from the current four. All this does not include MusicWorld, RPG Retail’s national chain of music stores. Goenka says an initial public offering is also in the offing in the next 12 months.

...Its retail strategy for Spencer’s encompasses four formats. The first is ‘Hyper’ — a hypermarket that covers close to 50,000 sq. ft. Then, the 15,000-sq. ft ‘Super’, a supermarket or convenience store, two of which have come up in Hyderabad and Faridabad; ‘Daily’, a food store selling staples, processed foods, FMCGs, and chilled and frozen items covering about 4,000 sq. ft; and the 2,000-sq. ft ‘Fresh’, a round-the-corner store that sells only fruits and vegetables.

Spencer’s Fresh will dot neighbourhoods, closely followed by Daily. The Super will be placed at strategic locations — property for one has already been firmed up at a Delhi Metro station. The number of Hypers will depend on the city. Says Sumantra Banerjee, president and CEO, RPG Retail: “Along with competitive pricing, quality will also be a key ingredient in our offerings.” Banerjee took over last year from Raghu Pillai who had been closely involved with the group’s retail experiments since 1996.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence India, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.