UK fashion retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has seen 13 per cent growth in India sales compared to a year ago and plans to go up to 100 outlets in two years, against the backdrop of an overall decline in consumer spending.
Globally, annual profit fell for a third year due to a drop in clothes’ sales.
The chain has 40 stores in India. Of 55 stores it opened globally last year, 10 were in India. M&S operates in a joint venture with Reliance Retail.
M&S entered some Tier-II locations last year, such as Kochi, Kanpur and Surat.
It recently launched a dedicated store on lingerie and beauty products in Mumbai and is expected to roll out 20 outlets in that category by 2016.
Venu Nair, managing director, M&S, India, said, “During the year, our stores in India delivered a good performance, with strong double-digit growth. The strong performance of our lingerie and beauty offer presents us with an exciting growth opportunity.”
Overall, pre-tax profit dropped four per cent to £623 million. Global sales, however, rose 6.7 per cent, with 23 per cent of sales online.
In Europe, it grew four per cent. China and India are key regions for the company, which closed many stores in Ireland.
M&S plans to aggressively expand in China, with flagship centrally-located stores to open in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
The company has 455 stores globally and operates across 54 countries. In February, it had opened its largest global store in Kuwait across 72,000 sq ft.