Debenhams is to close its India stores in Bangalore and Mumbai, which are run by franchise partner Arvind Lifestyle Brands, as it re-evaluates its retail strategy in the country.
Arvind Lifestyle Brands, a subsidiary of clothing and retail conglomorate Arvind, acquired the Indian retail franchises for Debenhams, Next and US lifestyle brand Nautica from rival Indian company Planet Retail in September 2012.
At the time, Arvind planned to increase the number of Debenhams stores from two to eight in the next three years; however, it did not open any new stores following the deal.
“Debenhams had very steep price points and it was difficult for us to make any changes in the supply chain to bring down the prices,” Arvind Lifestyle Brands managing director J Suresh told Indian business website LiveMint. “The (store) locations were also not right.”
A Debenhams spokeswoman said: “Debenhams and its Indian trading partner Arvind are to close two underperforming stores in Bangalore and Mumbai.
“We believe there is considerable opportunity for Debenhams in the Indian market and are currently reviewing the options for both stores and ecommerce.”
Suresh said: “The ball is in their court. They have to come back to us.”
It is not yet known when the stores will shut.
Arvind did not respond to Drapers’ request for comment.