Marks & Spencer is planning to open a store every month eyeing “turbo charge” growth in India.
Ritesh Mishra, managing director, Marks & Spencer Reliance India, who was in Kolkata for the inauguration of the 95th store, said that the main ambition was to turbo charge growth rates. “The plan is to open one store every month, that’s the pace at which we want to grow now.”
“Our resilience from the Covid period has taught us that we can expand faster,” Mishra added.
One of UK's leading retailers, M&S opened its first store in India in 2001 and in April 2008, it signed a joint venture with Reliance Retail to form Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd. M&S now has 95 stores across 35 cities in India and outside of the UK, it is the second largest market.
The new focus, Mishra said, will be to open large format stores in tier 1 cities spread over more than 15,000 square feet. The idea is to showcase the entire M&S catalogue in India – from apparel to beauty and home.
Apart from store expansion, the other pillars of growth would be expanding the online business and to upscale product categories, Mishra added.
M&S had launched its website days before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Now, about a quarter of revenues are generated from online – its own website and app and marketplaces like Ajio, Myntra, Amazon and Zivame.
“Digital is one of the areas that we would want to build a bit more on. Our aim is to scale it up to one-third of our business,” said Mishra.
The third aspect that M&S is working on is product proposition. Mishra explained that while the UK range works well with customers, it is also localising some of the products in terms of colour and prints.
About 6-7 months back, M&S also launched its homeware collection. Currently, it’s trialing out with bedding, bath, kitchen and accessories, but the potential is huge, said Mishra.
On the possibility of introducing furniture, Mishra said, “There is an opportunity and a huge potential.” It could be the next step apart from lighting.