Undeterred with the government adding an additional tax to branded jewelry Titan Industries
announced its plans to open 250 stores across India in the financial year starting April 2011. This means another 100 new stores will be opened. The company had opened 150 outlets across India this fiscal year. Titan Industries had 646 stores under operation across India as of February-end. Less than 15 per cent of the stores are company owned, while the rest are franchisees.
The company’s capital expenditure for the next fiscal is likely to be around Rs 100 crores, part of which, will be used for expansion and maintenance of the stores it currently owns, V Govindraj, VP, Integrated Retail Services said. Titan, for instance, currently only has three stores of Helios, a high-end multi-brand watch chain. But by the end of the next fiscal, it plans to have 40 operational stores of Helios. The company will also open around 60 to 70 Fastrack stores, which will sell casual range of watches and accessories, and around 20 stores of its jewelry retail chain Tanishq. It will also open 6-7 stores of its mass-market jewelry brand Goldplus. The company currently has 29 Goldplus retail stores. Titan had launched the Goldplus brand in 2005 targeting smaller towns, but froze expansion last year, after opening 30 stores. The company had last year said it wanted to get its business model right and might have to close or relocate some Goldplus stores. The focus of Goldplus will, however, continue to be on Tier II and III towns mainly in south India, and the new ones are likely to open in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Talking about the multiple brands and their expansion, Govindraj says they will continue to open 30-40 stores of Titan in 2011-12, but the aim is now to scale up expansion of their newer formats like Helios, Eyeplus and Fastrack. There will now be some expansion of Goldplus next fiscal, maybe six to seven stores.