labels: mahindra & mahindra, retail
Mahindra group to enter retail business news
10 October 2007
Mumbai: The diversified $4.5-billion Mahindra group is entering retail business. The group plans to roll out `Mahindra Retail'', a multi-format specialty chain in the premium lifestyle space, primarily in soft goods, in a year''s time.

Mahindra Retail will sell international and private labels while it has also tied up with some international brands.

"The Mahindra group has a reasonably large trading business in `Mahindra Intertrade''. The group believes that this is the opportune time to enter and extend its distribution business into direct retailing when the organised retail market is expanding in India. As such, it is a natural extension of the group''s existing business," Raghunath Murti, executive vice chairman of Mahindra Intertrade, said.

The company already holds licences to distribute kids'' apparel, toys and furnishings of companies, including Walt Disney, Mattel, Lego and Woolworths Plc''s Ladybird in India, he said.

"This is a natural extension of that business, and we will also look at entering other areas," he said.

The retail venture would be a group business, although the company may consider taking on strategic investors at a later date, he said.

"At this point we are doing it on our own steam, but we won''t rule out the option of taking on strategic investors," he said, adding investments and staff appointments were being finalised.

Retail industry in India, cuttently valued at about $350 billion, is estimated to nearly double by 2015.

Major Indian groups, including Reliance, Tata, RPG, Bharti and Aditya Birla are already tapping the market. Foreign multiple-brand retailers are allowed wholesale, licenced or franchise operations in India, the route taken by Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Germany''s Metro and Shoprite Holdings.


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Mahindra group to enter retail business