Marks & Spencer Reliance would be rolling out its first store in Mumbai in January 2009, a top company official said.
"We are opening our first Marks & Spencer Reliance store in Mumbai by January next year. The store, spread over an area of 18,000 sq ft, would be set up at an investment of half-a-million sterling," Marks & Spencer CEO (India), Mark Ashman, told PTI on Thursday.
Marks & Spencer Reliance is the joint venture between the Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Retail and the British department store chain, Marks & Spencer group.
The second and the third store would be opened by September 2009 and April 2010, respectively, in metros, he said.
The first store would have around 40 employees and would offer men's, women's and children's garments besides various household items, Ashman said.
The company has plans to open 50 new large format stores across the country in the next five years. These stores would be spread over an area of 15,00020,000 sq ft.
Currently, the company has identified 20 locations in various parts of the country. "We have zeroed in on 20 odd locations which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Jaipur," he said.
"We will open around five stores in Mumbai, five in Delhi, three in Bangalore, one or two stores in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Pune, Chandigarh and Ludhiana," Ashman said.
All the stores would be on a stand-alone basis, he said.
Asked about the prevailing high property rates, Ashman said that higher rentals were not an issue for the company, adding, "we don't see high rentals to be a challenge for us as today the rentals have become much more sensible than before."