Spencer’s Retail Limited, one of India’s largest multi-format food retailers, has launched a wide range of wines at its 75,000 sq. ft. flagship store in South City Mall in Kolkata. The wine and beer shop-in-shop is spread on 450 sq. ft (approx) and boasts of 180 brands of imported wine.
Sixty per cent of these wines are old world. The inauguration on April 3 was followed by a wine tasting session by Wine Connoisseur, John Clive Castelino.
Speaking at the launch, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Vice President, Marketing, Spencer’s Retail Limited, said, “Spencer’s is the only national retailer in India, which is offering such a myriad choice. We have 14 stores nationally offering wine and beer, and plan to enhance the offerings to key markets like Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi in the near future.”
Currently, the Indian wine market is estimated at 1.2 million cases with imported wines accounting for a mere 200,000 cases, noted a press release from Spencer’s. According to a report by KPMG and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, the Rs 265 crore (Rs 2.65 billion) market has grown at over 25% per annum over the last five years. The industry is estimated to report a 60% compounded annual growth rate in the five years to 2010.
“The liquor market in India has traditionally been driven by brown spirits and beer,” said Sheikhawat, “but wine drinking, especially imported wines, are gradually gaining momentum with a direct target group of 20 to 25 million affluent, globally exposed, well-educated and brand conscious Indians. As more people are travelling abroad and developing a taste for good wines, they expect the same availability when they come back.”
In Kolkata, the wine drinking “culture” is gaining momentum as the three important catalysts of availability, international exposure and disposable income come together. Wine has an interesting history in Kolkata where it has moved from having zero sales in late 2006 to about 12,000 bottles a month today.