Chennai: India is the fastest growing market in terms of footprint for British retailer Marks and Spencer outside the UK. Having witnessed a steady double-digit growth in the past five years, Marks and Spencer has started aggressively expanding its footprint.
Marks and Spencer has 1,463 stores worldwide, of which 1,000 stores are located in UK. Among the other international markets, India has the highest number of stores—76. Marks and Spencer India, the 51:49 joint venture between the British retailer and Reliance Industries, has been growing at a CAGR of 16.4 per cent since 2014-15, said Mohit Bhayana, Head of Retail, Marks and Spencer India.
The growth rate made the company confident enough to roll out stores aggressively. Last fiscal, it had opened 7 stores and the current fiscal 16 stores. It has chalked out plans to open at least 16 stores next year as well. Even in the UK, Marks and Spencer has been consolidating its stores by closing loss-making ones and opening in more viable locations and in a large market like China it has just an online presence.
"We will modernise and open over 100 new stores in growth markets such as India and further adapt our ranges to move away from our current UK-centric model," the parent company had said in its last annual report. "The Indian subsidiary also has 2.5 million strong loyalty customer base,” said Bhayana.