Jan 20, 2009

Business - M&M enters retailing with Mom & Me stores

BANGALORE: At a time when most retailers are holding back expansion plans, auto company Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has made a quiet foray
into the retail sector with the soft launch of its specialty format Mom & Me to sell infantcare and maternity products.

The company, which had announced its plans to enter the retail space more than a year ago, has launched two outlets in Ludhiana and Ahmedabad.

The company has invested close to Rs 100 crore in the venture. An email query to the company seeking details on business plans went unanswered.

Interestingly, Mahindra has been looking at hiring young mothers, as advisors in the stores for a better connect with target customers.

In this segment, Mahindra is likely to have little competition with the only other major player being British brand Mothercare, which entered India in partnership with Shoppers Stop three years ago. Most of the other stores in this segment are part of the unorganised sector.

Mahindra Retail is a part of Mahindra Intertrade, a fully-owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra.

While announcing its retail foray, the company had said it was a logical extension of its current business, as Mahindra Intertrade had tie ups with Walt Disney, Aqua, Mattel and Lego to market and distribute kids' toys, apparels, accessories in India. Some of the other diversified groups that have entered the retail space, include Bharti, Reliance and the Aditya Birla Group.

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