India becomes second largest market for Marks & Spencer after UK

Marks and Spencer in Pune, Maharashtra
Marks and Spencer in Pune, Maharashtra

India has emerged as the second largest market after the UK for Marks & Spencer, and the British retailer is looking at a double digit growth in terms of store addition this fiscal, said a top company official.

M&S has opened one store each in Chennai and Hyderabad on Tuesday (26).

As part of expansion, M&S is now looking at the fast emerging tier II & III cities and also plans to increase the products range with more local relevance.

“India has now the largest market for us outside UK,” Marks & Spencer India managing director James Munson said.

For M&S, India is a “strategic market”, where there is acceptance of international brands and has space to grow.

After recent openings, M&S now has 76 stores across 32 cities and is expanding its presence.

As part of its expansion drive, M&S has opened six stores in last 48 days.

“We are really excited to be reaching the landmark of our 75th store opening, as well as continuing to improve the online experience for our customers,” he added.

The company clocked a turnover of Rs 908 crore in India in FY 2017-18 and expects to continue its growth momentum further in the next fiscal.

Besides, the company would also continue to add more stores to maintain the pace of expansion of its sales network.

“In FY 2019-20, we would continue double digit growth in terms of store addition on like-to-like basis,” Munson added.

Presently, M&S sources around 30 per cent material locally and rest is from imports, and will increase more products “which are relevant to customers, he said.

The company is also present on the fast growing online sales through its several channel partners.

Although, the present contribution of online sales is in single digit but Munson expects it to grow further.

M&S opened its first store in India in 2001 and in April 2008 signed a JV with Reliance Retail to form Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd.

Established in 1884, M&S is one of the UK’s leading retailers and trades in 57 markets, with over 400 stores and online presence in 33 markets.