International Retailers Increase India Focus

26 Apr 2010 - The positive sentiment in the domestic retail market is driving foreign retailers to increase their focus on the Indian shores.

The positive sentiment in the domestic retail market is driving foreign retailers to increase their focus on the Indian shores. After lying low for nearly two years, retailers are firming up plans to increase their presence in the sub-continent not just through retail expansion but also price cuts to find a foot here.

Major retailers Walmart, The Body Shop and Artsana Inc. are putting expansions back on their strategies. Most companies had put a brake on expansions into India after the economic recession put their plans in a limbo.

Scouting for locations

Bharti Walmart, the 50:50 joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and the US-based Walmart Inc, said it is also looking to foray into southern and western parts of India within the next 18-24 months. The company is also understood to be scouting for locations in these regions but is yet to take a decision on the total number of outlets likely to be set up. “Within 12-18 months we should be able to be in the southern markets. We are focusing on all four southern states. And, probably after that, within two years, we will be in west India,” Mr Raj Jain, Managing Director and CEO, hief Executive Officer, said. Bharti Walmart had set up its first venture last year. “We see India as a mega place for our worldwide sourcing. Indian products can be exported to other Asian countries, Europe and even the US,” Mr Scott Price, Wal-Mart Asia President and CEO, said.

Similarly, cosmetic retailer The Body Shop is taking its store presence to 35 stores across 16 cities in India. The company said its expansion will include shop-in-shops as well as standalone stores.

“We have a tie with Future Group's Central Mall and Debenhams. We are also looking to forge a similar alliance with Shopper's Stop. We are also going aggressive on our pricing. Our price reduction strategy has helped us reach a broader spectrum of shoppers, thereby, widening our consumer base in India,” Mr Jonathan Price, Managing Director, The Body Shop, said, adding accessibility and affordability will be the key to its expansion in India.

In India, the company also has a franchising arrangement with Planet Retail Group where the former focuses on product development and training while the latter takes care of expansion into new territory.

Italian conglomerate Artsana, a €1.4-billion company, engaged in the business of babycare and healthcare, has entered India through single-brand retailing.

“We decided to come to India after we saw the growth potential in this market. The BRICs region is important for us and we are looking for investments here,” Mr Michele Catelli, Chairman and Managing Director of the family-led Artsana Group, said.

The company operates in 120 countries with over 21 subsidiaries globally. The group opened its maiden flagship ‘Chicco' store in Delhi, said it will be opening a slew of stores in major metros.

“We will be opening at least 8-10 stores in the next couple of months. This will help us not just in brand building but also give a keen insight into consumers' buying behaviour and price positioning for the Indian market,” he said, adding the company is keeping its pricing competitive in India.

Positive signals

The London-based property development and property search company Casa Forma said the sentiment in the real estate sector is positive. “We are seeing a turnaround in India and to step up our presence here we have hired a team,” Mr Fazia Seth, CEO, said. The company is exploring possibilities to design properties for individual and institutional clients.

Source: Business Line -


Submissions for inclusion on this page are most welcome from franchise associations and related companies and organizations. Please contact us here for more details.

FranSpeak International Subscribe to FranSpeak: International Franchise News, Events and Opportunities

Privacy Policy - FranSpeak International Archives


© 2010 and World Franchise Associates Ltd. All rights reserved.