Economic Times: March, 2016
Kolkata: Marks & Spencer has increased its footprint in eastern India by adding three stores in the region - two in Kolkata and one in Guwahati.
Since 2008, when M&S signed its joint venture deal with Reliance Retail, M&S has accelerated its expansion in India.
From a single 4,500-sq-ft store in Kolkata at South City Mall, the brand adds another 15,500 sq ft of retail space in the North East with the largest store in this part of the country at Guwahati. The 11,000 sq-ft-plus store is on GS Road at the Urban Central Mall. The brand has a total of 6.5 lakh sq ft of retail space across 24 cities nationally.
M&S, which has 54 outlets in India and added 12 stores in FY 14-15 and eight of them in FY 15-16, will continue expansions through the coming fiscal too. They are not just adding the regular stores to their inventory but coming up with newer formats too.
The two new stores in Kolkata not only includes a full line store but also one standalone lingerie and beauty store which is the third of its kind in India and brings the new format to Kolkata for the first time after Mumbai and Jaipur.
According to Venu Nair, managing director of Marks & Spencer Reliance India, one in every three women in UK use the brand's lingerie and they aim at making it a household name in India too.
"We are not just focusing on the quality and feel of the product but also concentrating on bringing in a price point that is comfortable for the Indian market. The Rs 799 range is designed especially for the Indian buyers," he said.
Two more lingerie and beauty store in the similar format would be coming up in the next three to six months in Bangalore and Chennai.
Apart from these there are more full line stores in the brand's pipeline too. To start with 2 more stores would come up in Goa and Kerala followed by Delhi and Mumbai, all in the next three to six months. They are also eyeing another 10000 sq ft of space in an upcoming mall in one of Kolkata's high street.
The brand that had a non trading online platform presence has now started selling its products online.