Targeting a pan-India presence, Trent Ltd has chalked out plans to open over 20 stores within a couple of years. The plan is to take the store tally to 100 by 2010, with each flagship store covering about 45,000 square feet on average.
“We have plans to have a pan-India presence by 2010, and for that we have shortlisted the cities where we will open our stores. The first one to come up under these plans will be in Ludhiana next month, with another one in Rajkot to follow. Other tier-II towns are in the pipeline as all depends on the availability of retail sites. We are not looking at tier III as of now,” Smita Neogi, manager communications, told Indiaretailing.
When asked about the obstructions in property acquisition, Neogi said, “We are in the process of property acquisitions required for expansion, but finding the right space is a bit difficult. We have tied up with DLF and they are serving us good. Significantly, Trent entered into an agreement with The Xander Group Inc., a global private equity firm, in April this year. The arrangement is to develop and manage an institutional retail real estate portfolio in partnership with Indian developers. We will leverage this understanding into our growth plans.”
Answering to the query on Trent’s stand and strategy on ban of organised retail in Uttar Pradesh, an official said, “It will be too early to announce the company’s stand, but we will have to plan accordingly and abide by the law.”
Under the company’s Star India Bazaar initiative, Trent is also set to launch its second Star One Global hypermarket in suburban Mumbai by end of this year.
Established in 1998, the Rs 456-crore Trent retails menswear, womenswear, kidswear, footwear, cosmetics, electronic goods, perfumes, handbags, household accessories, lingerie and gifts through Westside.
Westside is capitalising on the active retail market, which is booming on the strength of increasing incomes across the middle-class spectrum. At present, the company operates through 26 Westside department stores in over 18 cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Mysore and Pune.