Marks & Spencer (M&S) is targeting around 80 stores in the Indian market by 2016, as part of its ongoing strategy to become a leading international, multi-channel retailer in the country. The plans to double its presence in India with its partner Reliance Retail will see the country become M&S’s largest international market outside the UK.
Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer shared the expansion plans of the retailer in Mumbai to celebrate the recently opened flagship store in Bandra in the presence of Nita Ambani and Bollywood actresses, Bipasha Basu and Sonakshi Sinha. Bolland said:”India is a priority market for M&S and working closely together with our partner Reliance Retail we have set a clear plan to build a leadership position here. As the nation’s leading retailer operator, Reliance Retail is the perfect partner for us in India with extensive local expertise and experience, with strengths in infrastructure, logistics, technology and property. This combined with M&S’s brand loyalty and exceptional quality, stylish products, has seen us continue to deliver strong double digit growth in India. Now with 36 stores, we have the ideal platform to accelerate our growth in the market and see India become our largest international market outside of the UK by 2016.”
Sriram Srinivasan, Business Head – Apparel Reliance Retail, said: “We have successfully partnered with Marks & Spencer over the years to combine Reliance Retail’s expertise in retailing and understanding of the Indian marketplace with Marks & Spencer’s legendary product development capabilities to deliver a delightful experience for Indian consumers. We look forward to our continued engagement with Marks & Spencer towards the development and strengthening of our presence in India.”
The Bandra store spreads 35,000 sq.ft. across five floors stocking over 300 exclusive products such as its Savile Row Inspired collection and per una Speziale. M&S also announced the launch of its world’s-first Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty department. Lingerie now accounts for over a fifth of the retailer’s sales in the market, with total lingerie sales increased by a third during the last half year. Worth £1.8 billion (Rs 17,470 crore) in 2012, the Indian lingerie market is expected to grow by 54 percent by 2017 (Euromonitor). For the first time, M&S will sell its quality make up range in India. The second Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty department in India will open at M&S’s South Extension store in Delhi on November 15, 2013.
As one of its priority international markets for growth and a key sourcing hub, M&S’s strategy for India comprises continuing to work in close partnership with Reliance Retail, focussing on building a leadership position in India in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi by opening a cluster of supporting stores around its flagship store locations such as its new store in Bandra, expanding into secondary cities such as Surat and Kanpur, capitalising on the growth opportunities in lingerie and beauty in the Indian market, and maintaining M&S’s local sourcing of exceptional quality products from South Asian suppliers.