Luxury is no longer only for the rich and famous, it seems.
Everything premium — from accessories to cars — are turning pocket-friendly these days with upscale brands such as watchmaker Citizen, apparel firm Armani and Burberry, perfumier Chanel and luxury car makers Mercedes and BMW wooing consumers with affordable fare and “sub-brands.”
Japanese watch maker Citizen Watches recently launched new models starting at Rs 10,000 to cash in on India’s growing market. Similarly, luxury fashion label, Armani, launched its affordable casual, denim wearline in India beginning Rs 5,000 and t-shirts at Rs 7,000 against the minimum five-digits price tags for other high-end categories.
French fashion brand Chanel is all set to open a new store at New Delhi’s premium (but not ultra-luxury) mall to woo middle-class shoppers. British counterpart Burberry, known to sell super-more expensive dresses, now offers sub-`25, 000 ranges to woo consumers.
“Brands were adding lower-value products such as perfumes, scarves and eye wear but now they are creating sub-brands at lower entry-level prices to attract the common man,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO, Luxury Connect, a luxury brand consultancy.
Luxury car makers including Mercedes, BMW or an Audi comes for less than Rs 25 lakh. Mercedes was the first to take a bow with its A and B class hatchbacks. Where the B class stands at Rs 24-25 lakh, it was the A class that changed the game with a price of little over Rs 20 lakh.
“It would be foolish to ignore this particular crop. There will always be that one percent who will buy luxury without prodding,” said Darshan Mehta, CEO of Reliance Brands that represents brands such as Diesel, Zegna and Kenneth Cole. “We need to rope them in. That’s the sweet spot of the Indian luxury market.”
(inputs from Sumant Banerji)