Hermes would be the first international luxury brand to introduce
concept of high street outlets in India. It believes that this emerging market for luxury will see other global brands following the move. The 170-year old French luxury brand is best known for its scarves, neckties and Birkin handbags. The move comes as a challenge since other than Mumbai, no other Indian city boasts of a defined luxury street like Avenue Montaigne of Paris or Bond Street in London.
The Rs 105,956 million Hermes International is buoyant about India’s luxury industry that according to recent CII-At Kearney report on Luxury market in India, is growing at 25 per cent a year. The company has identified an area of 3,000 sq. ft. at Horniman Circle, opposite the iconic Asiatic Library and near the Reserve Bank of India, in Mumbai to launch its store. The two other outlets in the country are housed in hotels. A 700 sq. ft. shop in Delhi’s Oberoi Hotel and a 300 sq. ft. one in Ista hotel in Pune. Hermes stocks all its collections in the country, from bags and luggage to ready-to-wear, watches and perfumes, with prices ranging from Rs 10,000 for ties to Rs 5-6 lakh for watches. It also introduced a special edition sari as homage to India.
Hermes also has plans to make its products locally. It already has a bag made in Ahmedabad, the Paris-Mumbai bag, in its portfolio. Hermes holds 51 per cent in its India operations with Neelam Khanna, wife of PRS Oberoi’s grandson Ashok Khanna, holding the rest.