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11 November 2013

MARKS & SPENCER TO BUILD A LEADERSHIP POSITION IN INDIA

-As one of M&S’ priority international markets, India is the retailer’s fastest growing market in Asia-

Marks & Spencer (M&S) today confirmed its expansion plans for India, targeting around 80 stores in the market by 2016, as part of its ongoing strategy to become a leading international, multi-channel retailer. The plans to double its presence in India with its partner Reliance Retail will see the country become M&S’s largest international market outside of the UK.*

The vision to build a leadership position in the India market was unveiled by Marks & Spencer’s Chief Executive, Marc Bolland in Mumbai. This evening, Mrs Nita Ambani and leading Bollywood actresses, Bipasha Basu and Sonakshi Sinha, will join Marc Bolland at the official celebrations of M&S’s recently opened flagship store in Bandra in Mumbai.

Trading from 35,000 square feet over five floors, M&S Bandra is the partnership’ largest store in India with its most extensive range of exceptional quality, stylish products including over 300 exclusive products such as its Savile Row Inspired collection and per una Speziale. Tonight, M&S will debut its world-first Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty department, which will see M&S sell make up for the first time in India.

As one of its priority international markets for growth and a key sourcing hub, M&S’s strategy for India comprises:

  • Continuing to work in close partnership with Reliance Retail targeting around 80 stores in India by 2016;
  • Focussing on building a leadership position in India including in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi by opening a cluster of supporting stores around its flagship store locations such as its new store in Bandra;
  • Expanding into attractive secondary cities such as Surat and Kanpur;
  • Capitalising on the growth opportunities in lingerie and beauty in the India market;
  • Maintaining M&S’s local sourcing of exceptional quality products from South Asian suppliers.

Marc Bolland, M&S Chief Executive, said:”India is a priority market for M&S and working closely together with our partner Reliance Retail we have set a clear plan to build a leadership position here. As the nation’s leading retailer operator, Reliance Retail is the perfect partner for us in India with extensive local expertise and experience, with strengths in infrastructure, logistics, technology and property.
“This combined with M&S’s brand loyalty and exceptional quality, stylish products, has seen us continue to deliver strong double digit growth in India. Now with 36 stores, we have the ideal platform to accelerate our growth in the market and see India become our largest international market outside of the UK by 2016.”

Sriram Srinivasan, Business Head – Apparel Reliance Retai, said: “We have successfully partnered with Marks & Spencer over the years to combine Reliance Retail’s expertise in retailing and understanding of the Indian marketplace with Marks & Spencer’s legendary product development capabilities to deliver a delightful experience for Indian consumers. We look forward to our continued engagement with Marks & Spencer towards the development and strengthening of our presence in India.”

World-first Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty department
Tonight, M&S will officially celebrate its recently opened standalone flagship store on Bandra high street and will unveil its world-first new-look Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty department. The move builds on M&S’s established position as the UK’s number one lingerie brand and the increasing demand for its exceptional quality, stylish lingerie and beauty products to customers in India.

Lingerie now accounts for over a fifth of the retailer’s sales the market, with total lingerie sales increased by a third during the last half year. Worth £1.8 billion (Rs. 17,470 crores) in 2012, the Indian lingerie market is expected to grow by 54% by 2017 (Euromonitor).

The new department features an inviting and inspiring store design, with a neutral colour palette and flattering lighting to complement the stylish lingerie and beauty collections. Customers will be able to shop the very best of M&S’s exceptional quality, stylish lingerie, with M&S’s extensive breath of lingerie styles, shapes and sizes setting its lingerie offer apart from the competition.
 
The new department will also include a dedicated beauty offer which combines the best of nature and science. For the first time, M&S will sell its quality make up ranges in India. M&S’s aim is to make beauty buying simple, fuss-free and enjoyable with no hard sell.  All beauty advisers have been specially selected and will undergo a rigorous training programme, specifically designed by industry experts.

The second Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty department in India will launch at M&S’s South Extension store in Delhi on 15 November 2013. 

Largest store in India
M&S Bandra, the retailer’s largest store in India, has been designed to inspire and delight customers, with exciting visual displays to complement M&S’s most extensive range of exceptional quality, stylish fashions in India.

Over 300 exclusive products are available at the new store and for the first time customers in India can shop M&S’s exclusive Savile Row Inspired collection. Created in exclusive collaboration with Richard James, one of London’s most acclaimed tailors, Savile Row Inspired offers customers the best design of British tailoring at affordable prices.

Customers can also choose from quality, timeless wardrobe staples such as knitwear and suits, as well as trend-led wearable fashion pieces including luxurious Autograph leather ankle boots, relaxed, floral print Indigo tunic dress in beautifully soft cotton and an elegant M&S Collection lace shift dress in rich burgundy. The store’s clothing collections will also feature a host of clever product innovations, for example Stormwear™ finishes on jackets and trousers repeals water and stains, whilst Insolia™ technology in its footwear ranges improves comfort and stability.

Growth plans for India
Since M&S formed its joint venture partnership with Reliance Retail in 2008, the retailer has built a solid platform to accelerate its growth in India. Since April 2013, M&S has already opened seven stores in India including doubling its presence in Mumbai and entering the cities of Kochi and Vadodara for the first time. M&S now has 36 stores in India, trading from a total of over 500,000 square feet.

As part of the retailer’s plans take its business in India to the next level, M&S will open a further eight stores by the end of March 2014, followed by a further 36 stores in the next two years.

Sourcing operations in South Asia
In addition to its growing store presence, Marks & Spencer has an established sourcing operation in India and South Asia which supports its growing business in the Indian market, as well as its UK and international business. 33% of all M&S’s General Merchandise products sold around the globe are made in the region, whilst 64% of M&S products sold in India are sourced from local suppliers.

Local sourcing has allowed M&S to tailor its products to the Indian market and ensured its pricing remains competitive. For example, local sourcing has allowed M&S to stretch the seasons to offer linen products in India all year round. M&S sells over half a million pieces of linen clothing every year in India, accounting for 15% of sales.

-ENDS-

For further information, or to request images or interviews, please contact:

PR Pundit
Rohini Bhagat/Nikita Hirawat
+91 9819762969 /+91 9820637826
Rohini.b@prpundit.com /nikita.h@prpundit.com

Mr Ambani (Chairman and MD of Reliance Retail), Sonakshi Sinha (Bollywood actress), Mrs Ambani, Bipasha Basu (Bollywood actress) & Marc Bolland (M&S CEO)

Notes to Editors                  
*By number of stores in one territory.            

                                                                                             

About Marks & Spencer Reliance India

  • Marks & Spencer opened its first store in India in 2001 and in April 2008 signed a Joint Venture with Reliance Retail to form Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd.
  • M&S now has 36 stores located in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Amritsar, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kerala and Hyderabad.
  • Marks & Spencer, the iconic British retailer, sells high quality, great value clothing and home products as well as outstanding quality food. 20 million customers visit its UK stores each week and has over 82,000 employees across the UK and 53 territories globally.
  • Marks & Spencer was founded over 129 years ago and currently has over 770 UK stores and over 430 international stores across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
  • For more information please visit http://corporate.marksandspencer.com

 

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