Blog: Leonie BarrieM&S sees Indian incentives

Leonie Barrie | 21 April 2008

British high street stalwart Marks & Spencer is counting on India to help fuel its future growth. And advisedly so. India is a developing market with a growing middle class, and according to one figure I’ve seen can expect its retail industry to nearly double in size by 2015 from about $350bn.

Crucially, M&S already has strong Indian following for its brand, which has been available since 2001 through 14 franchised outlets operated by Planet Retail.

As part of its new joint venture with local group Reliance Retail, M&S plans to open 50 stores in Indian cities selling clothing and homeware. It also intends to keep an eye on costs by sourcing many of these products from local suppliers.

Under Indian law, foreign companies selling a single brand can own as much as 51% of an Indian store chain, and other western retail giants currently planning their assault on the market include Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Carrefour and Tesco.

"India is now quite ready for the retail experience", is how Rajan Bharti Mittal, managing director of Bharti Enterprises, which is preparing to launch wholesale cash-and-carry centres with Wal-Mart, put it at the World Retail Congress in Barcelona earlier this month.

M&S has made no secret of the fact it wants to grow its international business to 15-20% of group revenues within the next five years. Last month it set up a joint venture with retail partner COMS to expand in Central and Eastern Europe, and in February established a similar arrangement with Greek chain Marinopoulos.

As pressure increases on UK consumers through rising mortgage, food and fuel bills M&S is probably wise to look abroad to grow its profits – particularly in untapped emerging markets.

INDIA: M&S strikes JV deal with Reliance


BLOG

US-China trade deal brings limited benefits for apparel firms

The 'Phase One' trade agreement signed between the US and China is a step in the right direction, but offers little relief to apparel firms in the ongoing trade conflict....

BLOG

US apparel imports down four months in a row

The volume of US apparel imports fell for the fourth consecutive month in November, with a 20% drop in shipments from largest supplier China. The figures suggest early stockpiling in the run-up to the...

BLOG

Global apparel prices on the rise

One effect of the US-China trade war is the rising price of apparel imports – not just from China, but the rest of the world too. ...

BLOG

Progress on trade deals welcomed

The United States and China have reached an agreement on a Phase One trade deal in a move that will delay new tariffs that were due to take effect over the weekend and halve the rates currently impose...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?