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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Forever 21 makes its Indian comeback

Himnai Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 14, 2013
First Published: 22:11 IST(14/7/2013) | Last Updated: 22:15 IST(14/7/2013)

Forever 21, a premium apparel brand from the US, is set to make a comeback after fading away in its initial foray into India in 2010.

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The Los Angeles-based brand, which is partnering DLF Brands in its second coming, plans to open 40 to 50 stores in the next five years. In keeping with Indian sensibilities, the brand has slashed its entry-level prices by over 20% from the tags that it sported in its first time.

“In India, Forever 21 aims to impress middle-class customers with offerings starting at just R180,” said Timmy Sarna, managing director, DLF Brands. DLF is the 51:49 majority stake holder in the new partnership.

“We plan to open six to 10 stores every year, where the store size would vary between 8,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet,” Sarna said. In California, the Forever 21 brand showcases huge boutique stores averaging over 150,000 square feet in size. The brand has seven retail outlets in Delhi and Mumbai as of now.

In its 2010 foray, Forever 21 had partnered West Asia-based Sharaf Retail group, and had just one store.

DLF Brands is a subsidiary of real estate giant DLF, and operates 150 single-brand stores for global brands such as Mothercare, Boggi, Ferragamo and DKNY through joint ventures or long-term franchise deals.

The company is targeting R1,000 crore revenues in the next three years. “The uncertainty in Indian political and macro-economic scenario is slowing up investments in multi-brand retail segment,” Sarna said. “However, our targets are intact as single brand retail has not been impacted and we haven’t seen any impact on footfalls till now.”


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