First Marks & Spencer Reliance store to open in Jan 2009

First Marks & Spencer Reliance store to open in Jan 2009

Mumbai: Marks and Spencer Reliance, the joint venture between the Mukesh Ambani-promoted retail chain and the British departmental store major, will roll out its first store here early next year, a top company official said on Thursday.

“We are opening our first Marks and Spencer Reliance store in Mumbai by January next year. The store, spread over an area of 18,000 sq ft, would be set up at an investment of half-a-million sterling," Marks and Spencer India CEO Mark Ashman told PTI.

The second and the third store will come up by September 2009 and April 2010 in metros, he said. The first store will have around 40 employees and offer men’s, women’s and children’s garments besides various household items, Ashman said.

Marks and Spencers Retail also plans to open 50 new large- format stores across the country in the next five years. These stores will be spread over an area of 15,000 to 20,000 sq ft.

Currently, the company has identified 20 locations in various parts of the country.

“We have zeroed in on 20-odd locations which includes five stores in Mumbai, five in Delhi, three in Bangalore, one or two stores in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Pune, Chandigarh and Ludhiana," Ashman said adding that all the stores would be on a stand-alone basis.

Asked about the prevailing high property rates, Ashman said that higher rentals were not an issue for the company, adding, “We don’t see high rentals to be a challenge for us as today the rentals have become much more sensible than before."