KOCHI: British clothing and luxury retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) plans to enter the state market within the next few months by opening a store in Lulu Mall.
This is part of the company’s plan to open five new stores towards the end of 2013 summer, said Venu Nair, managing director of Marks & Spencer Reliance India Ltd, a joint venture between M&S and Reliance Retail. “Since 2008, we have been on a growth plan and now have 29 stores in India with five stores in the pipeline to open by summer 2013. The current 29 stores are located in key markets like Delhi, NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Amritsar. We have recently opened five new format stores in Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Chandigarh offering a more inspiration shopping environment. As one of our priority markets we will continue to grow our presence here,” said Nair.
“Our positioning in India is in line with our international positioning of ‘mid value retailer’, offering stylish and aspirational merchandise,” said Nair.
M&S, a high street store, will explore its expansion in India as a stand-alone store as well as inside the malls. “We always look very carefully at customers’ shopping habits, and malls are an extremely popular shopping destination for Indian consumers. However, since there is a set of consumers going to the high street, we may explore opening stand-alone store also in the future like we have at South Extension and Connaught Place at Delhi and Koramangala in Bangalore,” Nair said.
He also stated that the JV with Reliance Retail helped the company to transform its position in the market. “Under our previous franchise partnership, we were a small premium retailer selling UK products at higher prices through smaller stores. Through our partnership with Reliance Retail, we’ve been able to open larger stores and realign our prices by increasing our local sourcingReliance Retail is an ideal partner with strengths in property, logistics and experience of operating in the India market. They are a great help to us in managing the supply chain, finding the right location and helping understand the Indian customer better,” he said.