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Indian textile group eyes UK lifestyle retail market

business Updated: Apr 15, 2007 15:56 IST
PTI
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While foreign retailing giants like Wal-Mart and Tesco are planning to enter the fast-growing Indian market, a home grown textile firm is venturing abroad to take leading lifestyle retailers in Britain head on.

Mumbai-based Grabal Alok Impex has drawn up a restructuring strategy to turn around UK-based retail chain Hansard 2353, in which it is acquiring 75 per cent stake.

Grabal Alok Impex, a joint venture between India's Alok Industries and Austria's Grabal Group, has already invested 16.4 million pounds (Rs 140 crore) for acquisition of 26 per cent equity stake and convertible debentures, giving it a total of 75 per cent stake in the UK firm.

Alok Industries Managing Director Dilip Jiwarjka said the group was confident of turning around over 200 Hamsard stores, which operate under the "qs" brand.

"The present net sales of Hamsard stores are about 110 million pounds and we expect to increase the volume gradually. The stores are presently loss-making. However, due to change in sourcing strategy, we are confident of turning around the stores in some time," he said.

The company has also formulated a multi-pronged strategy to compete with leading UK retailers such as Primark and Peacock with similar profiles to Hamsard, Jiwarajka added.

The group also plans to bring this store format to India, besides stepping up sourcing activities for its UK operations from the Indian subcontinent - which would help it bring down costs and price products competitively to gain market share.

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