Ever thought of picking up fresh out-of-the-oven bakery items while returning from office? Or buying some freshly chopped vegetables for making pav bhaji at home? To cater to the changing needs and food habits of the busy urban population, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group's Spencer's Retail has come up with Epicuisine fresh-food hubs with live kitchens to boot.
The food hubs aim to offer customers a "different experience" from other hypermarkets at affordable rates, Shashwat Goenka, sector head of the Rs.1,400 crore Spencer's Retail, told IANS in an interview.
"These fresh food hubs will be located inside our Spencer's hypermarts. We wanted to offer our customers a different experience from other hypermarkets. Epicuisine is all about food and new ideas," he added.
The food hubs are targeted at metros, where people are exposed to modern retailing, said Goenka, 23, son of group chairman Sanjiv Goenka. But the assortment will vary from one place to the other depending on the catchment area, he clarified.
Epicuisine offers a wide range of fresh, prepared and packaged foods. It has 11 popular world cuisines and popular recipes from across the world. It has specialty products like diabetic, organic and low fat food items. There is also has live bakery in each of the stores.
Goenka said keeping in mind the nuclear families and working couples, these stores will also offer chopped vegetables and fruits with specified shelf life.
The Epicuisines, which will sell cheese sourced from nine different countries, are meant for takeaway food, but they will have place to stand and eat as well.
The live kitchens come via tie-ups with well-known eateries, for instance, in Delhi with Moet's for Mughlai, Mexican, Italian and Continental cuisine; Sushiya for Japanese cuisine, Culina Mundi for Classical British cuisine, Fortune Gourmet or Dabon International for cheese and meat among many others. The tie-ups will be with different entities in different cities.
The Group plans 80 hypermarts in the next four to five years, 10-15 percent of which will house an Epicuisine.
The company opened one such food hub in its hypermart in MGF Mall in Gurgaon on Thursday. Simultaneously, it opened an Epicuisine at Axis Mall in Kolkata. Last month it opened an Epicuisine at Kolkata's Quest Mall.
Spencer's is also looking at Noida and Greater Noida areas and is weighing options to open Spencer's stores there, he said.
On the company's plans for more Epicuisine formats, he said at least for a quarter the company will weigh their performance and then will take a call. The company hopes to break even in the next few quarters.
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