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Wed 22 May 2019 11:08 AM

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Lulu Group's Tablez plans $75m investment in India

UAE firm's retail subsidiary is aiming for over 150 stores by the end of 2020

Lulu Group's Tablez plans $75m investment in India
Tablez owns the Peppermill Indian restaurant brand.

Tablez, the retail subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate Lulu Group International, is planning to invest $75 million in the Indian market over the next two years, in a bid to nearly quadruple its market share in the country, according to a senior company executive.

“We plan to exit the year with nearly 100 stores, and we would be scaling up with fresh investments in 2020 to arrive at a portfolio of 150+ stores in India,” Adeeb Ahamed, managing director of Tablez told Arabian Business in an interview.

The group currently operates more than 40 stores all over India, across several categories including food and beverage (F&B), specialty retail and fashion.

Ahamed said the company’s retail business in India is enjoying exponential growth and expects to break even at store operations level over the next two years.

“To fuel further growth, we would be deploying about $75 million in capital over the next two years to scale our retail stores, enhance our people building capacity, create backend infrastructure and marketing,” Adeeb, who is also the managing director of Twenty14Holdings, Lulu Group International’s investment arm, said.

Adeeb said the company proposes to fund the expansion plans through a mix of equity and debt, and was not looking to tap private equity funds to raise resources for it.

International brands

Tablez’s aggressive expansion plans in the retail sector in India will also include launching more international brands in the current year.

“We will be adding five more brands - Corir, Desigual, GoSport, YOYOSO and OshKoshand, taking the total number of our retail brands across various categories to 13 brands in India by the end of 2019,” Adeeb said.

The international retail brands that Tablez markets currently markets in India include Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, Galito’s, Springfield, Women’secret and Build-A-Bear.

The company also markets two home-grown brands - Bloomsbury’s and Cold Stone Creamery – in the Indian and UAE markets.

Adeeb said this year Tablez plans to open new retail stores in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kochi and Trivandrum.

“We are also selectively looking at expansion in some Tier II / III markets in India such as Amritsar, Mohali, Mysore, Vijayawada, Coimbatore, Nashik, Nagpur, Baroda and Calicut, if the opportunities are right,” he added.

Besides expanding its retail network, Tablez is also currently busy drawing up strategic plans to increase its market share in India.

As part of it, the company is in the final stage of launching a robust and unique loyalty programme, expected to benefit all consumers across all its brands.

Adeeb said he was quite bullish about the company’s growth prospects in India and that Tablez was “working towards providing customers an Omni channel retail experience”.

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