This is part of the British retailer’s larger global business strategy, as it seems to have a firm belief in India’s formidable growth story. Currently, three or four Indian partners are said to be keen to take part in the proposed joint venture, since single-brand retailers in the country are allowed equity only up to 51%.
With the India growth story gaining popularity and the burgeoning middle class claiming attention with its increasing purchasing power, M&S is planning to sell all kinds of food, confectionery, snacks and home furnishing in the country.
Until now they have only sold clothes and lingerie through their franchisee partner Planet Retail, which operates brands such as The Body Shop, Guess and The Athlete’s Foot in India. It has retail operations in 22 cities in India including Mangalore, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Noida, Pune, Nagpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Indore, Ahmedabad, Surat and Guwahati.
M&S has an annual turnover of over US$16 billion, with over 400 stores located in the United Kingdom and 150 stores worldwide, including over 130 franchise businesses operating in 35 countries.