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LuLu Group Retail Arm to Expand to 300 Stores, Targets Rs 4-bn Revenue by 2020

03 Jan 2019 - The strategy is to establish its presence in South India and move to North India with various brands

Tablez, the organised retail arm of LuLu Group International, is planning to expand its presence in India with around 300 stores by 2020. The company, which has a franchise to global brands in food, beverages, toys, lifestyle and apparels, is expecting to turn profitable next year and is targeting a revenue of Rs 4 billion by 2020, from Rs 1 billion at present. At present, the company has 42 stores of around six brands in its kitty and plans are to increase it to 10 brands soon. Tablez was established by LuLu Group with the launch of its shopping mall LuLu Mall in Kochi in 2013, but the retail arm started expanding from 2016.

The company has signed master franchise agreements with brands like Springfield, Women'secret, Toys'R'Us and Babies'R'Us to market them in India. It has also recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese lifestyle brand YOYOSO to bring its stores to India. In the food and beverage space, it holds franchise rights for US-based Cold Stone Creamery and Galito's, in addition to two home-grown brands -- Bloomsbury's and Peppermill.

"In 2017, we had announced to invest around Rs 3.5 billion and we have already invested almost half of it. The investment is expected to go beyond the announced level and we may invest more to achieve the targets," said Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, Tablez. All the investments are from the group, which also has interests in the healthcare industry in the country.

With LuLu Group's plans to expand its mall development to Lucknow and Vizag, among other places, Tablez would also set up its presence in these malls. LuLu brings in credibility to the retailing company. At present, almost 85 per cent of its presence is in these malls. However, going forward, the company is planning to maintain a ratio of 70:30 between malls and high-street presence.

The strategy is to establish its presence in South India and move to North India with various brands. While the investments are still going on, the company is expecting to report profit next year, Ahamed said.

The company on Wednesday launched its new Cold Stone Creamery outlet in Chennai and said that it would look at further expanding the presence of the brand in Mumbai and Hyderabad next year. With around 17 stores at present, Tablez is planning to set up a total of over 50 stores for the ice cream brand in India by 2020, reaching a turnover of around Rs 1 billion from the brand by the time. At present, it has around Rs 200 million revenue from the brand, Ahamed said.

Business Standard