M&S to expand rapidly in India

British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has been expanding three fold in India and is opening six more stores in the next two months alone, a top company official has said.

Marks & Spencer has opened its first store in India in 2001 and in April 2008 signed a joint venture agreement with Reliance Retail to form Marks & Spencer Reliance India.

It has a whopping 71 stores across 30 cities like New Delhi, Amritsar, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Bhopal, Kanpur, Hyderabad and Chandigarh among others.

According to James Munson, Marks & Spencer Reliance India managing director, India has become an important market. It is now the largest market for M&S outside Britain. M&S has 71 stores today and they want to further invest in this market. They have opened nine stores in the last six months and they want to further open six more in the next 60 days.

Internationally, Marks & Spencer has its products in 57 markets across 400 stores and an online presence in 33 markets.

Munson further said they are looking to expand reasonably well as there is no other market which are expanding the way they are expanding in India.

Out of the 71 stores here, 10 are standalone beauty and lingerie stores , similar to the two it opened in the last nine months and said half of the store it wants to open will be on the similar lines.

The company has earned a revenue of 908 crore last year and has been growing at a CAGR of 24% over the last five years, added Munson.

It had gained a 9% growth in the same store sales last year.

A fifth of the turnover comes from outside the major metros, he said.

30% of its products are local and India is a sourcing base for the wider British market as well.

M&S has partnered with other e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart over the last few years and has received a strong area of growth and this year they are expecting 75 percent growth in online sales.

M&S has added that its revenues from online sales in India is still much less as compared to Britain where it’s targeting 30 per cent online sales.

M&S has developed a rethink campaign for the Indian market, a first globally where a campaign has been designed for the local market.

In Britain, food is a popular segment for the company but Munson said they have no plans at present to introduce food here.

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