Marks & Spencer to scale up India operations

Marks & Spencer to scale up India operations

New Delhi: British retail major Marks & Spencer is looking at scaling up its India operations and plans to open at least 50 more outlets in the country over the next few years.

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture (JV) with Reliance Retail, is also looking at increasing its product range in the country.

“We currently have 14 stores across seven cities in India and further plans to open at least 50 new stores in India over the next few years," Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd head of marketing Nandini Sethuraman said in an e-mailed response to PTI.

“Marks & Spencer believes India offers significant expansion opportunities and the potential is huge with a wider range of products, bigger M&S stores and a better brand experience overall," she added.

Sethuraman said the initial investment in the JV was of £29 million (around 220 crore) and both the partners may put in more money in future.

“The total value of the initial investment into the JV will be up to £29 million sterling, wherein M&S invested up to £14.79 sterling and Reliance Retail invested up to £14.21 sterling. Both parties will provide further funding in the near future," she said, without giving more details.

The JV, in which M&S has 51 per cent stake and the rest is held by Reliance Retail, was formed in April 2008.

It currently operates 14 outlets in seven cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata and sells women’s, men’s and children’s clothing as well as homeware.

In November this year, the company had announced plans to reposition the brand as a mid-market player to cater to a greater customer base.