Published On:January 5 2009
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Italy firm to open 300 stores in five years

New Delhi: Italy-based Lotto Sport Italia is looking to strengthen its retail presence in India by opening around 300 stores in the next 5 years, besides foraying into the innerwear category soon.

The company, which markets its products in India, Nepal and Bangladesh through Delhi-based Sports Lifestyle, will open the stores in various phases.

'We will be bringing these stores in a phased manner. By the end of 2010, we will open around 50 stores mostly in the northern region of the country,' Sport Lifestyle Managing Director Lalit Kishore said.

The company currently has 10 exclusive stores across the country. The new outlets would be mostly in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in the first phase, and then in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 'At present, we are focusing only in the northern states, particularly in Tier-II cities, where we find the rentals reasonable as compared to the metros. The first 10-20 stores will be like our pilot stores.

If all goes well, we will expand to the western region such as Maharashtra and Gujarat,' Kishore said. He, however, declined to comment on the investments for the five years but said the company would be investing around Rs 10 crore by 2010. While its product range includes sports footwear and apparel at present, Kishore said Lotto would launch its innerwear in the next four months, even as it enhances the existing categories.

Despite the current global slowdown, Kishore said the company has grown over the last year.

'These are difficult times and it has been a challenging task to give shape to our ambitious retail plans in particular,' he said.

'Despite all these difficulties, business has grown in the last year as we have been able to counter some of the key issues by reacting to them immediately through our product innovations, identifying new markets, strengthening logistics and backend support,' he added.

The company is expecting a turnover of Rs 50 crore by 2010.

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