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Gloria Jeans India partnership ends abruptly

Gloria Jeans’ Indian master franchise agreement has come to an abrupt end with stores closed or converted into other brands.

The Australian coffee chain which was recently bought by listed QSR specialist Retail Food group, launched in India in the first quarter of 2008 with franchisee Citymax, a division of Dubai-based Landmark Group.

The plan was to build a network of 50 stores, but Citymax stopped at 27, before scaling back to 22.

The coffee cafe sector in India is growing fast, but is fiercely competitive with local and international brands fighting to premises and market share. Cafe Coffee Day, a local operator, and Starbucks, a joint venture with the powerful Tata Group, are dominating the market.

According to Indian news reports, 17 of the cafes have now been converted into Krispy Kreme outlets, another franchise Citymax holds for the nation.

The stores are located in New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

An unnamed Citymax source said Landmark would now focus on its Lifestyle department stores, Max apparel stores and Home Centre furniture stores chains, along with Krispy Kreme, its only other food and beverage interest in India, which it acquired the rights to two years ago.

Citymax reportedly attempted to sell its stake in the Gloria Jeans business, but with no apparent buyer interest, opted to close the operation instead.

The 35 year old Gloria Jeans business has a network of 800 company owned and franchised coffee shops worldwide, the majority in Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

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