French Connection has opened its first store in India today, as the latest UK fashion retailer to start operation in the subcontinent. The Times

French Connection sources a quarter of its global stock from India. It will open three stores in Mumbai this week and a 3,000 sq ft flagship store in Delhi in June.

Marks & Spencer has 12 stores in nine Indian cities. Debenhams plans to open 10 stores by 2010 and Next is also sizing up the market, according to local property brokers.

The retailer’s CEO, Neil Williams, said: ‘There is the potential to do 30 to 40 stores over five years. It depends on how it goes to start with. Reasonably affluent Indians want to be fashionable. They’ve had their eyes opened by MTV, the internet and travel.’