Reliance To Open Coffee Chain Pret A Manger's First Shop In Mumbai
The British chain plans to open 100 outlets in India by 2028.
The U.K.-based food and coffee chain Pret A Manger Ltd. is set to open its maiden store in Mumbai on Friday, nearly a year after signing Reliance Brands Ltd. as its franchise partner in the country.
The outlet at Maker Maxity, Bandra-Kurla Complex, will be a recreation of the brand's iconic London shops with a large dining space spread across an area of 2,567 square feet.
The coffee-to-food chain is set to heat up competition in the Rs 6-lakh-crore food services industry as demand for aspirational hospitality experience grows among the middle class and the affluent young generation.
The brand will compete with Starbucks Coffee Co., which has a joint venture with the Tata Group, and the Coca-Cola Co.-owned Costa Coffee.
"Coming to India has been a goal of ours for a long time, and the opening of our first shop in Mumbai is a landmark moment in our international expansion plans," said Pano Christou, chief executive officer at Pret A Manger. "We have been working closely with the Reliance Brands team to create an offer for Indian consumers that reflects the Pret brand, while also adapting to local preferences and food habits."
Christou said the brand is confident of becoming a hit with Indian consumers.
Reliance will open Pret's second outlet at Lower Parel's Palladium Mall in two to three weeks. The National Capital Region will get its first outlet at DLF CyberHub by the end of May, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Some of its popular food options include the pickle and posh cheddar granary sandwich, avocado and toms-stone baked baguette, smoked salmon protein salad and a selection of freshly baked goods like croissants and cookies, said Darshan Mehta, managing director at Reliance Brands.
"Freshness of ingredients, authenticity of recipes, and a curiosity in processes defines the new Indian consumer," Mehta said. "Our partnership with Pret A Manger aims to tap into this curiosity."
Last June, Reliance Brands—a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd—struck a long-term master franchise partnership with Pret A Manger to open food stores across the country, starting with major cities and travel hubs.
The British chain plans to open 100 outlets by 2028 as India remains a key pillar in its ambitious target to double the size of its business within five years, according to the franchise agreement.
In comparison, Starbucks opened seven stores in four new cities in India in the three months ended June 2022, reaching a total of 274 stores across 30 cities.
The U.K.-based Costa Coffee opened 14 new stores over the same period to reach 69 outlets. Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons launched in India in August 2022 with two stores in New Delhi and is targeting more than 250 stores within five years.