Godrej Group has sold its grocery chain Nature’s Basket to Kolkata-based Spencer’s Retail, part of the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group.
Spencer’s Retail is especially strong in Chennai and Bangalore, and has also recently acquired another South Indian player Foodworld.
The financial consideration for the sale was not revealed by Godrej.
Godrej, for which Nature’s Basket is a small operation, said it realized that scale was becoming more important in the retail space.
“We realised that to further unlock the immense potential of this brand and to grow it to even greater heights, we need to pass on the torch to owners who have prioritised retail in their portfolio strategy and have the relevant ecosystems to take the business to the next level,” said Godrej Group’s Executive Director Tanya Dubash.
The move comes in the wake of other consolidation moves in the industry, such as the acquisition of Hypercity by market leader Future Group from Shopper’s Stop.
Future Group also acquired Bharti Retail’s retailing operations as well.
The second big player, Reliance Retail, too has been making noises about launching a mega, e-commerce powered platform across the country. Godrej, which gets most of its revenue from real estate and manufacturing packaged consumer goods such as locks, soaps and so on, seemed to have decided to take a strategic call to exit the retail business.
“The retail industry is consolidating and to flourish in this environment, scale has become increasingly important,” Dubash added.
For its part, Spencer’s said the move to acquire Nature’s Basket, with its western India focus, would help it balance out its portfolio of outlets.
“Nature’s Basket will make Spencer’s a truly national player, giving it access to the West of India through its 36 stores in Mumbai, Pune & Bangalore,” said Shashwat Goenka, Sector Head – Retail & FMCG, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group.
“These stores are located in prime residential locations, have a high sales throughput per square feet, and will add 363 crores of top line to the Spencer’s portfolio.”
“Both Spencer’s and Nature’s Basket are positioned as experiential grocery retailers, and that is the first of many synergies that this acquisition brings. Nature’s Basket has a strong portfolio of private label brands which has huge traction with its consumers.
“We believe there is huge potential to expand this to Spencer’s stores. It also has a strong ecommerce presence, and we believe that fits in well with our Omni channel strategy at Spencer’s,” he added.
Nature’s Basket started out as a specialty retailer focusing on high-end, organic and global food items.
However, in 2017, it started rebranding itself more as a daily store for grocery items.
Spencer’s Retail, on the other hand, operates hyper markets as well as smaller formats, and dispenses food, personal care, fashion, home essentials, electrical and electronics.