Top brands reconsider India strategy

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Some top international fashion and lifestyle brands which exited the Indian market during the economic downturn are returning to India. Albeit, with revised business strategies, more suited to the Indian environment. It seems that the brands, have taken time off to understand the Indian market scenario. So they are coming well prepared for their second stint in this fast growing market.

As the country is inspiring international labels for entering the market Sanjay Kapoor, MD, Genesis Luxury, which has brought brands such as Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta, Kenzo and Just Cavalli to India, says that India is not just the second largest emerging luxury market after China, it has a lot to offer in terms of heritage, which luxury brands are clearly beginning to see. Post recession, globally, brands have started looking out for emerging markets such as India and are willing to go the extra mile to woo consumers here. Moreover, some of the oldest buyers of luxury have been the erstwhile Indian princes. Now, the consumer just wears a different hat. The new maharajas are the wealthy industrialists and families with both old and new money, plus a new aspiration class of young professionals with high disposable incomes.

GAS, the Italian apparel brand entered India through a fully-owned subsidiary—GAS Jeans has been appointing franchisees. C & J Clark International on the other hand, has opened five standalone stores, in partnership with the Future Group. The venture plans to open more standalone and shop-in-shops by next March. Esprit is also reported to be reconsidering its India strategy. The brand is wondering how to expand in India. Besides, Louis Vuitton has used ‘vintage’ Indian fabrics that consist of a mix of monogram flowers and traditional Indian motifs, for a very India-inspired collection of limited edition clothes.

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