British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) said its women’s wear and lingerie segments have grown 40 per cent from financial year 2014/15 to financial year 2016/17 in India. These segments, as per the company are now the fastest growing categories in India, a top company official said. “We continue to focus on key areas for the business such as women’s wear and lingerie, where we have seen significant growth in recent years,” said James Munson, Managing Director, Marks & Spencer Reliance India.

The company witnessed 16 per cent sales growth last year, driven by new store openings, as well as 9 per cent like for like (LFL) growth. This premium brand presently runs 63 total stores in India out of which it opened 8 stores last year. This year, M&S plans to add another 8 stores. So far the brand has online presence in platforms including Amazon, Myntra, Ajio and now on Jabong.

About the online channels as a growth medium for the brand in India, M&S said online is a real growth opportunity for it, however, vast majority of its revenue currently coming from brick and mortar stores. Further, M&S said it is going to continue its sturdy focus on the country. On an average, M&S has been opening 8 stores a year for the last 3 years. This year it has entered Raipur market and strengthened presence in existing markets such as Mumbai where it now runs 11 stores, besides Pune and Jaipur.

“India continues to be one of the largest and fastest growing markets for M&S. We are committed to putting the customer at the heart of our business through attractive entry price points and making sure M&S is one of the most accessible international brands in India through both our store and online presence on platforms such as Jabong,” Munson said further.

Marks & Spencer opened its first store in India in 2001 and in April 2008, it signed a joint venture with Reliance Retail to form Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd. The brand’s merchandise is available in 63 stores located in 27 cities across India, including 6 standalone lingerie and beauty stores in Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore, Lucknow and Kolkata besides the online channels. M&S was founded over 130 years ago and currently has 900 stores in UK and over 460 international stores across 59 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.