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Retail Tracker: Tier 2 cities lead with 64% of March store launches

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Mannu Mathew
Mannu Mathew
With over four years of experience, Mannu Mathew specializes in business journalism with a focus on technology, the retail sector, D2C, and E-commerce brands. He is working as the Assistant Editor for India Retailing and Images Retail Magazine.

About 48 of all the new stores opened in March 2024 were in non-metros

IndiaRetailing Insights: Retail store expansion in tier 2 cities and beyond accounted for around 64% of the new store launches in March, as per the data compiled by IndiaRetailing Insights, a retail intelligence unit.

The data revealed the number of store expansions in India remained the same with over 76 new stores opening in March 2024, a number similar to that in February 2024.

Store additions in January 2024 were over 62, a rise of around 29% compared to the previous month and over 76 stores in February, a rise of around 23% as compared to the previous month.

Region-wise

With 26 new stores opened in March in the region, North India has fared better than other parts of the country. It reported an increase of around 8% as compared to the previous month.

This was followed by West India, with 23 new stores as compared to the previous month. Contrary to the trend in the previous months, South India saw a drop of 40% in store additions with only 16 stores opening in the region compared to February 2024. However, East India has been witnessing consistent growth with store additions ranging between one and five every month.

The newly-opened stores are in cities like Surat, Bengaluru, Aurangabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara, Gwalior, Gandhinagar, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Latur, Satara, Nagpur, Kolar, Patiala, Vanastalipuram, Puducherry, Indore, Lucknow, Malleshwaram, Noida, Maharajganj, Kozhikode, Jaipur, Amritsar and Mohali.

Tier 1 cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad saw around 28 new stores in March as compared to February. Whereas tier 2 cities performed much better with over 48 new store openings—around 64% of the total launches.

Active brands

The brands that opened outlets in March include Snitch, Lifestyle, Intune, Starbucks, McDonald’s, R&B, Zudio, Yousta, Gap, Levi’s, Breitling, Tanishq, Laura Mercier, 7-Eleven, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Hamleys, Recode Studios, Bad Monkey Beer, Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Dr. Rashel, Bata, Hong’s Kitchen, HT Interiors, The Beer Cafe, Nykaa, Puma, Relaxo, SSBeauty, Dunkin, Kalyan Jewellers, Sai Silks Kalamandir, Giva, Flyrobe, Wooden Street, Fenesta, Smartsters, Bombay Brasserie, Style Bazaar, Miraj Cinema, Power, Foodstories, Tasva, Chalu Aapna Desi Chinese, Popeyes, H&M, Toys”R”Us and Lee.

Credit: IndiaRetailing

An analysis of the data revealed that key players fared well in March 2024. For instance, Malabar Gold & Diamonds opened around 10 new stores in different parts of the country with plans to take the total store count to 350. ABFRL’s Tasva and coffee chain Starbucks opened four stores each, whereas QSR brand Chalu Aapna Desi Chinese opened around three new stores.

In addition to this, fashion brands like Snitch, Lifestyle, Intune, Gap, Jewellery brand Kalyan Jewellers and food chain Popeyes opened two stores each.

International expansion

The total number of stores by Indian companies outside India in March stood at over seven. Lenksart continued its Middle East expansion with one new store each in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Other international forays included Tanishq in Chicago, United States (US); Hamleys in Rome, Italy; Louis Philippe and Van Heusen in Qatar and Bombay Brasserie in Singapore.

Key Developments

In addition to store launches, the country also saw the entry of some global brands to India albeit in e-commerce. These include Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and Florence by Mills which entered the country through Nykaa, Korean skincare brand Skin1004 through Tira, UK-based fashion brands Next through Myntra, skincare brand Nature Spell, Brazilian Houseware brand Tramontina and French American beauty brand Laura Mercier.

Other key developments included Reliance Brand’s acquiring Luxottica-owned LenCrafters India business and Reliance Retail’s plan to bring UK online fashion retailer Asos to India. Tech giants like Apple and Alphabet have also planned to open stores in India.

On the shopping centres side, Chennai is soon going to get Mall of Madras spread over 1.2 million sq. ft, a shopping centre developed by South Indian real estate developer SPR India.

Fund raises

In March, several D2C brands and other retail players like innerwear brand Bummer, online coffee company abCoffee and Subko, skincare brand The Ayurveda Experience, logistics company JustDeliveries, retail chain SuperK have all raised funds totalling to over Rs 365 crore.

The analysis is based on the data compiled basis IndiaRetailing reports, company information via press releases and social media and other information shared by retail experts and officials.

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