Mahindra Retail Ltd, part of the diversified $6.7 billion (Rs33,600 crore) Mahindra Group, plans to invest up to Rs100 crore in the current financial year to open 'Mom and Me' stores, which will specialise in mother and child products.
"We plan to invest at least Rs 75-100 crore this year, out of which a portion has already been invested," K Venkataraman, managing director, Mahindra Retail said while inaugurating the company's flagship Mom and Me store in New Delhi.
The group, which has interests in automobiles and real estate among other sectors, has a majority stake in the retail venture, while private equity firm ICICI Ventures will hold a 26-per cent stake.
The company has so far opened three Mom and Me outlets in Ludhiana, Pune and Ahmedabad. "We will shortly open such stories in Mumbai, Bangalore and other major tier I and II cities," Venkataraman said. However, he did not specify any target number of stores.
The company already has 12 tie ups for licensing and distribution of various international products, and is looking to add more. Its range includes maternity wear, infant and kids' fashion, educational toys and wellness products, under licenses from international brands like Lego, Disney and Mattel. The stores will also launch private labels from Mahindra and other Indian companies.
"There have been some good advantages of the economic slowdown in our segment," Venkatraman said. The downturn has reduced rents as well as the cost of products for the retail sector. Asked when the company hoped to break even, he said, ''The Indian market in the long term is very promising. We need to take it by step by step, but hope to break even in two years."
According to industry estimates, India has an organised retail market for mother and child products worth Rs7000 crore, and is growing at a substantial rate annually, he said. He added that the company would focus on the Indian market for the time being and has no immediate plans to expand overseas.