Koutons Retail to open 200 stores by FY11

Koutons Retail to open 200 stores by FY11

Mumbai: Retailer Koutons Retail India plans to open 200 stores in FY11 in addition to its existing 1,400, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Of the 200 stores, 100 would be family concept stores, which would include women and children’s wear, Akash Deep Sandhu, general manager of sales and marketing, said on the sidelines of the Asia Retail Congress Summit.

“We are moving from the men’s model to the family concept model as it creates a bigger shopping basket," he said, adding the family concept model was still in the initial stages.

Koutons has 150 family store outlets across India at present.

Sandhu said the expansion would not require any significant investment from the company’s side as it would be done primarily through the franchise route.

“We have had major successes through the franchise route in the past, we do not want to disturb that," he said.

The firm will also consider opening stores in the Middle East and South East Asia in the next fiscal, he said. He did not provide details.

He also said that banks were still tight in lending to the retail sector, adding the firm has not yet set a capex for the next fiscal.

“Banks are currently tight on lending. They need to be more liberal and understand our potential so as to give a push to the retail sector," he said.

Sandhu said that it would take 6 months to a year for India’s retail sector to recover fully from the economic slowdown.

“People are still wary and they will start evaluating their buying patterns after 6 months to 1 year. We see retail standing up (then) currently it is reclining," he said

At 1:05 p.m., shares in Koutons were up 2.55% at Rs382.75 in the Mumbai market that was up 0.85%.