Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

M&S to launch online in India

Marks & Spencer is close to signing a deal with Indian etailer Myntra.com, which would see it selling online in the country for the first time.

The deal with India’s largest ecommerce platform would make India only the second territory where M&S sells through a third-party website. It started selling on China’s Tmall in December 2012.

The two companies have reportedly finalised the terms of the partnership and the final agreement is expected to be signed soon.

An M&S spokeswoman said: “Whilst we always look at new opportunities, we would never comment on rumour or speculation on our future business plans.”

M&S is believed to have held talks with various ecommerce firms in India including Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal and Amazon.

Other western retail businesses that have launched on Myntra include Nike, Adidas, Benetton, Wrangler, Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger.

Martin Newman, chief executive of multichannel consultancy Practicology, said India was still a small online market compared with the UK.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if M&S launches on a marketplace [in India]. If Myntra is a significant player and has a wide reach it makes sense for M&S to leverage that. However, I‘m not sure if the level of demand for online is quite there yet in India as it is a relatively fledgling market. When prioritising areas for online expansion I’m not sure I would put that into my top five.”   

Stephen Springham, chief knowledge officer at retail analysis firm Planet Retail, said M&S’s physical store presence with franchise partner Reliance Retail has helped pave the way for an online launch.

“Political opposition is slightly more relaxed towards non-food operators,” he said. “M&S falls into this category and it also has the key benefit of ticking the key box in terms of market structure – it has formed a joint venture with local retailer Reliance Retail. With this platform in place, it is in a good position to exploit other channels, notably ecommerce.” 

M&S operates in 54 territories across the globe, including 46 shops in India.

In November 2013, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said the retailer wanted to have 80 Indian stores by 2016, making the country its biggest single territory outside of the UK.

@jillgeoghegan

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.