Mumbai: British retailer Marks and Spencer Group Plc. (M&S) plans to source 70% of its products from India in the next five years, its India chief executive officer Mark Ashman said.
The department store chain currently sources only 20% of its products from the country.
“Sourcing from India will help us to lower the price further,” Ashman said.
M&S owns a 51% stake in Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture launched in April 2008 with Reliance Retail Ltd.
Ashman said Marks and Spencer Reliance India is being cautious on its expansion in the country because of the slowdown in retail.
“We will expand very cautiously, and will not expand as rapidly as other retailers.”
The joint venture aims to have 50 stores in the next five years and will invest around £29 million (Rs215 crore).
But “we have doubts whether we would be able to reach the target on time as developers are delaying the properties in the present market condition,” Ashman said.
He, however, said that softening of real estate prices is helping them get properties at a much cheaper rate. The company plans to have around 1 million sq. ft of retail space. M&S stores would be spread over 15,000-20,000 sq. ft.
Ashman also said that M&S will try to bring down prices of its products in India but “will never get into value retailing”. M&S will continue to focus on premium-end products, he added.
Marks and Spencer Reliance India currently operates 15 stores in the country including its flagship store in Mumbai.