Department store Debenhams has revealed major expansion plans for India, according to reports.
The British retailer, which opened its first department store in India’s Gurgaon district in the National Capital Region in October 2007 with fanchisee Planet Retail Holdings, has said it plans to expand rapidly in the country with 15 stores planned for eight cities across India over the next two and a half years.
It has also revealed that it will slightly change the fashion labels it carries in its Indian stores, including the retailing of Indian designers for the first time.
According to Ramesh Tainwala, chief executive of Planet Retail Holdings, the plan is for Debenhams tobe more female-centric and to add clothing options at ready-to-wear prices by Indian designers, who will complement British designers such as John Rocha and Betty Jackson. These will include styles by well-known Indian designers Manish Arora and Narendra Kumar.
Three new stores will open in the next 12 months, targeting Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Each subsequent year will target cities such as Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
When Debenhams was introduced in India just over three years ago, there was an ambitious growth plan to open more than 30 stores. However, instead of the projected growth, two of the three locations of Debenhams were closed down last year.
“Two of the existing Debenhams were inappropriately located so we closed them down,” said Tainwala. ““We’re looking at 25,000- to 30,000 sq ft spaces. We also have a new focus as a women-centric store.”