Tata retail company Trent Limited scouts joint venture partner for overseas foray

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The Tata retail company Trent Ltd is scouting for a suitable joint venture partner for its overseas ambition, a company official said.

“We are still looking for. We want a right partner and a right model,” Philip Auld, Managing Director, Trent told PTI when asked about West Asia and Africa ventures.

According to a PTI report: Staying cautious on foreign foray, he said the company preferred joint venture as it “shares the risk.”

Auld said that initially the Middle East was the first destination and dialogue was under progress for a right partner and things might get crystallised in a year’s time.

In 2015, Trent Chairman Noel Tata at the AGM had first spelt out the wish to take its retail format to Africa and West Asia but competition, transaction costs, taxes and exchange rates were subjects of consideration for the company before deciding to venture out.

Though Auld did not spell out which of the retail format might be taken overseas but Westside was the preferred choice for the company.

“In Westside 98 percent of the merchandise are in-house (except cosmetics) which offers us full control in operation. Some 6-7 years ago external brands share in Westside was 20-22 percent,” he told PTI.

Despite overseas plans, the domestic market will continue to be a major focus market for the Trent and it has already embarked upon a major expansion for its three retail chain brands, Westside, Star Bazaar and Zudio in the current fiscal and also over the next few years, Auld said.

“I am optimistic for the mid-term. We’ll open 30 Westside stores this year of which 10 will be in the east. Last year, the number was 18. In the next 3-5 years, we’ll open at least 30 stores a year,” Auld told PTI.

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