Plan to open stores for UK clothing retailer scuttled to focus on Spanish brand.
Trent, the retail arm of the Tatas, has shelved plans to open stores of UK’s Arcadia Group in the country to focus on Spanish fashion brand Zara, said a person in knowledge of the development.
The company had entered into a franchisee agreement with UK’s largest privately-owned clothing retailer three years ago and was planning to open at least 15 stores of Arcadia’s Topman and Topshop brands. British billionaire Sir Philip Green owns these brands.
Mails sent to both companies did not elicit any response.
Trent is also likely to end franchisee arrangement with Benetton Group’s Sisley brand, with which it had signed an agreement four years ago, as it could not expand stores as it expected, according to recent reports. Trent runs seven stores of Sisley.
“We want to make each format profitable. Currently, we are focussing on building Zara store network. Once we do that, we will open Topman and Topshop. We are not pulling out from that arrangement,” said a senior executive from Tata Group.
In February 2009, Trent announced a joint venture with Spanish fashion retailer Inditex to develop stores of Zara in the country. Since then, it has opened three stores in Delhi and one in Mumbai.
According to company executives, after the splendid performance of Zara, Trent is also in talks with Inditex group to bring the latter’s brand Massimo Dutti. According to industry sources, Zara stores in Select City Walk and DLF Premonade in Delhi and Palladium in Mumbai have been posting one of the highest sales figures in those malls.
Now, Trent-Inditex joint venture is talking to developers in Mumbai, Bangalore and National Capital Region to open more stores.
Arcadia runs over 2,500 stores across brands such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, Topshop and Wallis and operates in 30 countries across Europe, Southeast Asia and Central Asia through 420 international franchise stores.
For the 12 months ending August 2010, Arcadia Group posted sales of £2,777 million (Rs 17,772 crore) and a pre-tax profit of £213 million (Rs 1,363 crore).
Source : Business Standard