Marks & Spencer to make India its biggest overseas market
Marks & Spencer has announced plans for a major expansion in India with the opening of 80 stores by 2016.
The plans will mean that M&S will double its presence in the country to make India the largest international market for the retailer outside of the UK.
The announcement came after M&S officially opened a new store in Mumbai, its largest in India, today. The store was opened by chief executive Marc Bolland with Bollywood actors Bipasha Basu and Sonakshi Sinha also present.
Bolland said: ”India is a priority market for M&S and working closely together with our partner Reliance Retail we have set a clear plan to build a leadership position here. As the nation’s leading retailer operator, Reliance Retail is the perfect partner for us in India with extensive local expertise and experience, with strengths in infrastructure, logistics, technology and property.
"This combined with M&S’s brand loyalty and exceptional quality, stylish products, has seen us continue to deliver strong double digit growth in India. Now with 36 stores, we have the ideal platform to accelerate our growth in the market and see India become our largest international market outside of the UK by 2016.”
Having worked with Reliance Retail since 2008 as part of a joint venture partnership, M&S has opened seven stores in India with the firm since April 2013. This includes doubling the retailer’s presence in Mumbai and entering the cities of Kochi and Vadodara for the first time.
This next phase of growth will involve M&S opening an additional eight stores by the end of March 2014, followed by a further 36 stores in the next two years.
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