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Wednesday, Aug 14, 2002

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Trent to pump more funds into Westside

Our Bureau

The Westside showroom in Bangalore.

NEW DELHI, Aug. 13

THE Tata group-owned Trent Ltd plans to increase investments in Westside, its retail chain of lifestyle, apparel and home products, to Rs 100 crore by the year 2004.

Current investments in the Westside chain are to the tune of Rs 70 crore. Briefing the media at the inauguration of eighth Westside outlet and the second in the Capital on Tuesday, Mr Noel Tata, Managing Director, Trent, said the company's immediate objective was to take the Westside chain to 20 stores by 2004, up from the eight that are currently operational in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Against a turnover of Rs 75 crore from seven Westside stores last year, Trent expected to close the current fiscal on a turnover of Rs 120 crore, Mr Tata said. "The company will also register an increase in profits," he said, while declining to elaborate further.

Meanwhile, a `heavy' media burst across print, outdoor, cinema theatres and Fashion TV is set to roll shortly. A sum of Rs 20 crore had been allocated for advertising and promotions, Mr Tata said. Trent has signed on cricketer Yuvraj Singh as the brand ambassador for the Westside chain, for a period of three years.

Food chain only next year

THE Tata group has delayed plans to venture into food retailing by one year. The company had announced around the same time last year, that it would be ready to roll its food retailing chain in early 2002, under a different brand name.

"We plan to kick off our food retail chain by April next year. The delay has been on account of certain changes in strategy," Mr Noel Tata, Managing Director, Trent, told Business Line.

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