Reliance continues brand hunt

Monday, 26 July 2010

Reliance Brands, a Reliance Industries-owned lifestyle brand company, has entered
into a distribution-cum-licensing agreement with the US footwear brand Timberland. The Reliance already has two Italian joint venture partners Paul & Shark and Diesel in India. Meanwhile, Reliance Brands is betting big on a few more international partnerships even as it intends to park investments in Indian design talent. The company wants to develop a homegrown brand, which could be anywhere in the apparel ladder from luxury to high street because a homegrown brand offers bigger scope for value creation. The focus would be on scalability and development of a long-term, sustainable proposition for this brand.

The company is also looking at investments in Indian brands and designer wear. On the international front, the Reliance wants to bring in brands and not just labels. They hope to finalize a couple of partnerships that are currently in the pipeline. Also, they typically prefer joint venture partnerships over distribution agreements as they are long term in nature. Where both partners interest are aligned and they would sit on the same side of the table to jointly sell the product to the consumer. The main challenge Reliance Brands sees in tie-ups with international brands is the availability of infrastructure. Perhaps that is why although the joint venture with Diesel was signed in August 2008, the first store opened only in March 2010.

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