London: As part of its international expansion plans, a leading department store chain in the United Kingdom is set to launch its outlets in India.
Bhs, owned by Sir Philip Green, UK’s billionaire is set to open stores in Delhi and Mumbai. Following close on the heels of Debenhams, Argos and Mothercare, who already have stores, or plan to open them, in the subcontinent, Bhs will enter the Indian market through a franchise agreement with L K Pagarani, a Dubai-based Indian businessman.
Pagarani’s Al Maya Group has run Bhs’s successful Dubai franchise operation for more than 20 years.
The company wants to take advantage of India’s current retail boom that is riding on the back of strong economic growth and steady encroachment of local and international retail companies into a market dominated by small family-owned shops.
According to Technopak,retail consultants, “India’s retail sector is likely to grow 20-fold over the coming decade”.
Bhs is pushing hard to expand internationally in the face of slowing UK profits. Last year, it opened 15 new stores in Russia and the Middle East, and it has been extending its chain across Eastern Europe.
Their entry may be followed into India by Green’s other high street brands: local retailers expect the fashion chains Topshop and Topman, which already operate in 24 countries around the world, to appeal to Indian consumers.