Spencer's to pump Rs 70 cr for expansion of Au Bon Pain chain

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Goenka said Bangalore alone has 29 outlets of Au Bon Pain out of 32 altoghter (Reuters) Goenka said Bangalore alone has 29 outlets of Au Bon Pain out of 32 altoghter (Reuters)
Summary'Our primary focus for next 12 months is to have a total of 70-72 stores across Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata'

The RP Sanjiv Goenka group, continuing to expand in the retail space, is targeting to invest Rs 70 crore over the next 12 months in spreading Cafe and dining chain Au Bon Pain in India.

"Our primary focus for the next 12 months is to have a total of 70-72 stores across Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. The expansion will see investment of around Rs 70 crore," Group Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said here today.

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When the cafe brand was announced in mid 2008, the group thought of reaching 100 stores in 18 months. But, cautious approach was adopted and now officials said the brand is now poised to grow rapidly.

Speaking at the launch of its 4,000 sq feet flagship outlet at Park Street, where the last Music World store was located, Goenka said Bangalore alone has 29 outlets of Au Bon Pain out of 32 altoghter.

"I hope people will connect with the erstwhile music world sentiment here," Goenka said.

The Au Bon Pain Cafe India Ltd, a 80:20 JV between Spencer's and Varin Narula was planning to open some 10 new cafes in multiple formats in city by April 2014.

The outlets in Bangalore have performed well and are profit making at a store level. "I am hoping for a break even in another 18-24 months," Goenka said.

Chief Executive Sanjiv Gupta said the company also plans to grow in Southern part like Hyderabad and Chennai.

"We need to have atleast 10-12 outlets in a city to be viable as investments are high in installing a backend supply infrastructure," he said.

Au Bon Pain started as small urban cafe in USA in 1978 and now has expanded to 385 outlets worldwide.

The cafe chain was brought into India by Goenka's daughter and the first store was opened in Bangalore in 2009.

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