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Mothercare ramps up India store target via joint venture

Mothercare has doubled its store target in India after signing a new joint venture with retail franchisee DLF Brands to roll out more standalone stores in the country.

Mothercare now plans to open 200 stores across the country; its initial target was 100. It originally opened 23 stores in partnership with Indian department store business Shoppers Stop. Shoppers Stop will not open any more standalones and instead will focus on shop-in-shops within its department stores.

Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon said the retailer’s growth in India had been led by its clothing offer. “There are 24 million babies born in India each year and it is a very young country. We are well known there by the middle classes and are an aspirational brand.”

He added that although growth had slowed in both India and China during the global downturn, there were still lots of “positive growth stories” going on in retail in both countries and that growth had now begun to pick up again.

In the 28 weeks to October 10, total group sales at Mothercare grew 8.2%, climbing 4.1% on a like-for-like basis.

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