LuLu Group to expand retail presence in India

Swathi Moorthy Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Plans to bring more global brands by mid-2018

Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group International is on a major expansion drive to increase its retail and hospitality footprint in India.

The group will accomplish this through retail division Tablez and hospitality division Twenty14, said Abeed Ahamed, Managing Director of Tablez India and Twenty14, who was in Chennai for the launch of its first Cold Stone Creamery store in the city.

Ahamed told BusinessLine that the company is in talks with two-three international brands and will bring them to India by mid- 2018.

“These brands will be in the space we are not there right now like sports and essentials,” he added.

Established brands

Currently, Tablez India operates seven brands across 14 branches, mostly concentrated in the South.

The brands are bakery brand Bloomsbery, food and beverages brands Galito and Cold Stone Creamery, Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us in the toy segment, and apparel brands like Springfield and Women’s secret.

It also operates Indian fine dining restaurant Peppermill.

Ahamed said: “We have established these brands here. Now we want to expand our presence.”

Earlier, the company had announced that it would invest ₹400 crore in India. While the 70 per cent of the investment has been spent, the rest will be used for the expansion, he added.

“We plan to open 12-15 Cold Stone Creamery outlets, six Toys‘R’Us outlets and four-eight Springfield outlets every year,” he added.

With GST in place, the company is exploring opening outlets in the North. Ahamad said, “Before GST, expanding was difficult as we had to create an infrastructure in all the areas we were expanding. But now, we can have a centralised warehouse and ship the products.”

Recently, the company announced the launch of LuLu mall in Lucknow. There are two more malls coming up in Trivandrum and Andhra Pradesh.

Hospitality network

The company is also looking to acquire brownfield projects to expand its hospitality network in India. The company already has two hotel properties at Kochi and Bengaluru. “There are lot of incomplete hospitality projects across India due to lack of funds,” Ahamed said. “We are looking at them as they offer viable business model,” he added.

Ahamed, who also heads Lulu exchange holdings, said the company is focusing on the Asia-Pacific region to expand the money transfer business.

Published on November 14, 2017

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