BHUBANESWAR: Amid a major strategic overhaul in its home market where it would close a 100 stores by 2020, British fashion retailer Marks & Spencer reaffirmed its plan to grow its joint venture business with Reliance Retail in India. The firm expects to continue opening 10 stores annually on the back of rising demand.
Speaking at the launch of its first store in Bhubaneswar on Friday, James Munson, managing director of Marks & Spencer, said that even as the bigger markets such as Delhi and Mumbai are high business contributors, the growth rates are stronger in tier 2 cities. “We have 22 stores outside metros, which make for one-fifth of our revenue, but their rate of growth is seen to be much higher than the business average,” he noted.
The company clocked a top-line growth of 16 per cent last year and it expects to build on the momentum through a combination of strong like-for-like stores along with the expansion of both online and offline presence. Munson said that the firm is also keen to increase its contribution of local sourcing. “Today, about 70 per cent of what we source for our business comes from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; 35 per cent of our sourcing is directly from India itself,” Munson said.
Going by the pace of expansion, the company may take a little longer to reach its target of opening 100 stores by 2020. “Currently, we have 67 stores across 32 cities in the country. Our next launch will be in Hyderabad and Delhi,” Munson said.