Food retailers can have global brand sans FDI

Mumbai, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2005, 05:53am hrs
Retailers, at least those involved in food, may no longer have to wait for foreign direct investment (FDI) approval. A brand-based approach is set to take off with the entry of SPAR International (an association of retailers), a Netherlands based multi-national food retail chain. SPAR looks at tying up with existing neighbourhood large kirana and food stores besides assisting in setting up new stores, through its licensee Radhakrishna Foodland, the Warburg Pincus funded privately held company.

Dr Gordon R Campbell, managing director, SPAR, said: Our model is based on unique cooperative model. It has been successfully introduced in Eastern Europe and Africa. We are committed to supporting independent retailers to achieve best practice in international retailing, thereby enabling them to grow and develop. Our multi-format retail strategy enables us to tailor retail propositions to match individual locations and consumer needs. SPAR typically never invests in setting up food chain, but converts the retailers into adopting SPAR brand, along with its best business practices.

With a global turnover of 26.8 billion euro in 2003, SPAR has 15,000 stores across 34 countries. Raju Shete, chairman and managing director, Radhakrishna Foodland, said, We will set up six to eight stores in Mumbai by the end of next fiscal. SPAR has already begun one such store in the metro. However, later we may expand in other cities and towns, he added. We believe that the entry of the SPAR brand into India is a significant development and will usher in a new food retail model in the country solely aimed at protecting the interest of the independent retailer members , he noted.