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Marks & Spencer to double India presence by 2016

October 10, 2014 16:05 IST

UK's top retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S), is keen on expanding its presence in the fast-growing Indian market by launching around 40 new stores by the end of 2016.

Launching its second flagship store in Hyderabad on Thursday, Venu Nair, managing director of M&S Reliance India, said all the planned stores would be self-owned.

"By 2016, we aim to have 80 stores from the current 42 stores, pan-India."

In south India, the international retailer plans to roll out four stores by Mar 2015.

Of this, two would be coming up in Hyderabad by December 2014.

M&S currently operates 10 brick-and-mortar stores in south. M&S opened its first store in India in 2001.

It had signed a joint venture with Reliance Retail to form M&S Reliance India Private Limited in April 2008.

"Hyderabad with seven million population is getting more westernised and what we offer is something right for this market," Nair said. On the strategy for sourcing product material, he said "local sourcing in this part of the world is extremely key and forms an important part of our strategy".

Global retailers are expected to step up sourcing from India as other major destinations such as Cambodia and Bangladesh slip amid concerns over compliance and labour issues, he added.

Photograph:Thierry Roge/Reuters

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