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Jan 1, 2018
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Marks and Spencer: growth in India means continued expansion

Jan 1, 2018

As Marks and Spencer India reports ten percent like-for-like growth this past year, the English company now has more stores in India than in any country outside of England and 2018 will see continued expansion.

Marks and Spencer India reported ten percent like-for-like growth this past year - Marks and Spencer- Facebook

This past year, Marks and Spencer (M&S) saw a 62 percent increase in the sale of dresses compared to the year before and a 25 percent increase in swimwear sales during the same period. James Munson, who was made Managing Director of Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd in May, said about the brand’s India performance: “Our growth rates have been strong. Last year, we delivered ten percent like-for-like growth. We are having a strong year despite the impact of GST (goods and services tax). Last year, we did Rs 880 crore [approximately 132 million US dollars] and we recorded 16 percent overall growth. India continues to be a strategic and important market for M&S.”

M&S currently has 24 stores in tier 2 cities and these constitute one-fifth of the company’s India revenue. However, Munson stated that growth in tier 2 cities is, “much stronger than the business average."

Like many fashion retailers in India, M&S aims to continue to tap into this emerging market.

Although Munson opines that “it is very difficult to define targets in India,” he stated that, “we are committed to grow the business here and concentrating on store expansion. We did eight stores this year and we want to continue at the same pace, if not higher.”

The New Year should see M&S further expand their presence in the country.

According to Munson, “From a business perspective, India is increasingly becoming a competitive market, which is good for us as well as the consumers. The malls have professionalised in terms of investments. However, there are some things that still haven’t changed...getting a quality real estate is still very difficult.”

Expansion may, therefore, bring some challenges but the company has committed to investing in India.

Marks and Spencer Group Plc. has a joint venture with Reliance Retail Ltd and currently has 62 stores located across India. M&S also sells their branded apparel and lingerie across three online marketplaces; Myntra, Ajio, and Amazon.

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