By Lynne Nolan
UAE retail giant enters country with first Babyshop outlet, plans to invest $25mn in next six months.
UAE-based retail giant Landmark Group has announced plans to invest $25 million in China within the next six months.
The company opened its first Babyshop outlet in Shanghai's Hongqiao district this week. Micky Jagtiani, chairman of Landmark Group, said the company's expansion into China is central to its global growth plans.
The 14,000-square foot store has been designed to tap into the rising potential in the children's clothing sector in the country.
"China offers unmatched potential and great opportunity for growth. Our presence in China will perfectly augment our expansion plans," he revealed.
The company plans to open six stores in Shanghai, set to cover 285,000 square feet by 2009. A second Babyshop outlet in December, and two Home Centre outlets will open by mid-2008.
"The launch of our China operations is a strategic step towards our ambitious growth strategy. Our first foray in China - Babyshop - will effectively cater to the complete needs of a child," said Vinod Talreja, CEO of Babyshop.
The Landmark Group currently has 600 stores across its portfolio in 10 countries, with annual business revenue of more than $2 billion. This figure excludes its Indian operations, tipped to generate a turnover of $1billion by 2010.
Christopher Attwell, managing director for Landmark Group in China, said the debut of retail businesses including Landmark Group would "develop and reform the retailing sector in China".
"Landmark Group brings a world-class retailing experience and a new type of shopping environment for Chinese consumers and we are looking at an aggressive, coherent plan for market entry and expansion," he said.