ITC’s lifestyle retail division, Wills Sport, plans t open 24 retail stores across the country by August end. The company feels that it has lost precious time coping with teething problems and it’s time the retail division expanded at a breakneck speed to hit the 100 store mark within the next three years. The idea is also to explore the possibility of taking the brand abroad.
The company opened its first store in July last in Delhi. Some of these cities identified for the new stores are Chandigarh, Ambala, Bareilly, Ranchi, Coimbatore, Trichi, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Mangalore, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Bangalore, Pune, Aurangabad, Belgaum, Indore.
While stores in the metros will be owned and managed by the company, the stores in the small to medium stores towns will be franchisee owned. Lifestyle retail along with greeting cards was identified as potential growth areas because it was in sync with ITC’s strength in consumer research, real estate and paper.