Marks & Spencer markets its food products in India


In a bid to meet the growing demand for quality food products in the country, British company Marks & Spencer (M&S) plans to introduce its food products in some of its department stores, according to three people familiar with the development.

Marks & Spencer markets its food products in India

M&S plans to launch its food products early next year in two of DLF’s owned shopping centers in the National Capital Region (NCR), nearly 14 years after forming a joint venture with Reliance Retail.

M&S operates department stores at DLF properties including Mall of India in Noida, DLF Avenue in Saket in New Delhi and DLF CyberHub in Gurgaon.

As a global business, the British department store chain sells high-quality food and clothing, as well as home ranges in more than 100 different markets, according to an M&S spokesperson.

“We have significant ambitions to further develop our business in India with our partner Reliance and we are always looking to offer the most relevant ranges to our local customers. However, at this time we have no immediate plans to introduce M&S Food to the market,” the spokesperson said in an email response.

However, two of the three sources cites for this story are people with direct knowledge of the plans.

“M&S is currently deciding on the menu and food items to be introduced in India,” said the person with direct knowledge of the matter. The second person with direct knowledge of the plans said the UK retailer had been planning the option for some time and it had accelerated this year.

The third source said DLF is “currently creating space” or planning to add space to existing M&S department stores in two of the DLF-owned malls.

“M&S plans to pilot with one or two stores, initially,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

In the early 2010s, the sale of food products by foreign companies in India was a hot topic and it took years for IKEA to get government permission to integrate its IKEA café brand into its major outlets.

Currently, Swedish furniture and home products giant IKEA sells food items such as jams, pasta, packaged salmon, sauces, biscuits and biscuits, among other edibles, in its cafeteria which is part of an integral part of its department stores. IKEA operates three large warehouse-sized stores of approximately 400,000 square feet in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore, in addition to two relatively smaller outlets in Mumbai.

Last month, M&S launched its new range of vegetarian meals, Veggie in the UK, amid growing demand for more vegetarian choices from customers. The vegetarian range includes a choice of 14 delicious vegetarian dishes such as Vegetarian Roasted Butternut Risotto and Vegetarian Roasted Mushroom Ravioli which are created by the retailer’s in-house chefs.

M&S may also introduce some of the vegetarian offerings in India, one of the sources said.

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Rozella J. Cook