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Reliance Brands forays into F&B space, signs franchise pact with Pret A Manger

RBL has entered the strategic partnership with Pret A Manger to launch and build the brand in India and plans to open the food chain outlets across the country, starting with major cities and travel hubs

Reliance Brands (RBL) has announced its entry into the food and beverage space through a long-term master franchise partnership with UK-based fresh food and organic coffee chain Pret A Manger, as per a report by news agency PTI.

RBL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures -- the retail arm of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance group.

It has entered into a strategic partnership with Pret A Manger to launch and build the brand in India and plans to open the food chain outlets across the country, starting with major cities and travel hubs, a joint statement read.

Started in London in 1986, Pret A Manger now operates around 550 shops in countries, including the UK, US, Hong Kong, France, Dubai, Switzerland, Brussels, Singapore and Germany.

MD Darshan Mehta said: "Our partnership with Pret is rooted in the strong growth potential of both Pret as a brand as also of the food and beverage industry in India. RBL closely follows the pulse of Indian consumers and there is an increased consciousness of what we eat -- rapidly making food the new fashion. Indians, like their global counterparts, are seeking fresh and organic ingredient-led dining experiences which have been synonymous with Pret's core offering." Pret A Manger CEO, Pano Christou, said, "Two decades ago, we opened Pret's first shop in Asia and it's been an inspiration for all of us to bring our freshly made food and 100 per cent organic coffee to new cities across the continent. RBL are a great partner to help us do just that, bringing their years of expertise in the market to help our brand succeed in India."

"With its rich cache of insights on customers' evolving spending habits and an ambitious expansion plan, RBL's first foray into the food industry will bring the much-loved Pret dining experience to one of the biggest retail markets," the statement said.

RBL began operations in 2007 with a mandate to launch and build global brands in luxury to premium segments across fashion and lifestyle. It has a portfolio of brand partnerships of leading global brands, including Armani Exchange, Burberry, Canali, Coach, Diesel, Dune, Emporio Armani, Gas, Giorgio Armani, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Versace, Villeroy & Boch, and West Elm.

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