Luxury coffee brand illycaffe to set up cafe chain

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New Delhi, Mar 30: Premium coffee brand illycaffe has marked its entry into the domestic market by partnering Narang Group for setting up a pan-India luxury cafe chain. ''This partnership will enable us to open five 'espressamente illy' cafes within the year and continue to a total of 35 over the course of next five years,'' illycaffe Chairman Andrea Illy told reporters here.

illycaffe has over 175 cafes in over 30 countries and plans to open the first Indian espressamente illy at the Bangalore airport, while its flagship outlet in Mumbai will come up in the next four months. ''Narang Group, as a master franchise for illycaffe, is looking to open five outlets in the country in the first year of launch,'' Narang Group Joint Managing Director Rohit Narang said. The franchises will vary from 200 sq ft simple outlets to 1,500 sq ft flagship store and the focus will be more on opening flagship outlets in metro cities initially, he added.

Mr Narang, however, declined to comment on the investments and the revenue projections.

Talking about the expectations from the Indian market, Mr Illy said, ''India contributes a miniscule amount to global coffee sales.

We want to give a coffee experience, a 'neo luxury of sorts.'' illycaffe is based in Italy and reported a revenue of 246 million euros in 2006. It is engaged in the production and marketing of unique blend of espresso coffee globally.

UNI

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