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Gitanjali Group to set up 550 shops in India, abroad this year

NEW DELHI: Leading jewellery retailerGitanjali Group plans to set up a total of 550 shops in India and abroad by end of this year, a top company official said. 

"We are certainly looking at expansion in retail business. We aim to set up additional 300 shops in India and 250 in abroad by the end of the current year," Gitanjali Group Chairman and Managing Director 
Mehul Choksi told PTI. 

The expansion in the domestic market will be through a franchise route in Tier II and III cities as rents are lower than the tier I cities, he said, adding that about Rs 50 crore will be invested this year for domestic expansion. 

At present, Gitanjali has 104 stores in the country. Besides, Choksi said the group aims to expand presence in the international market, especially in America and Japan this year. 

"Globally, we are looking at expanding further. We plan to add 250 stores in 2013. America is doing extremely well and we would like to expand there, followed by Japan," he said. 

International market has started improving and now prospects look better, according to the company. "Our target is to increase our global retail sales by 30 per cent this year. Last year, global sales were at USD 800 million," he said. 

The capex for global expansion has not yet been decided. "We will do it as opportunity comes our way," he said. 

The group now owns and operates two large retail chains (Rogers and Samuels) in the US, and has retail operations in Japan, China, Italy, Middle East and other countries through acquisitions and tie-ups. 

Largest selling brands from the Gitanjali Group include 
NakshatraBSE -4.82 %, Gili, D'damas, Asmi, Sangini and others. 

On 
gold prices, Choksi said: "Prices are entering into the era of much better stability in the world. I see gold prices ruling in the range of USD 1,600-1,700 per ounce. It will not come down further."