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French luxury labels target India

Top French luxury brands are planning to open outlets in major metros including Delhi and Mumbai.

business Updated: Apr 01, 2007 19:39 IST

Targeting India's rich and famous, top French luxury brands are working out their plans to open outlets in major cities including Delhi and Mumbai.

CEOs of at least a dozen French labels converged in New Delhi last week to find out the policy fine-prints about opening their shops in best of India's fashion and lifestyle hubs and interacted with their potential local partners and senior bureaucrats.

High-end Louis Vuitton, which has its stores in the aisles of five-star hotels in Delhi and Mumbai, would scale up its presence in the national capital.

"Looking at opportunities which India offers, there is potential for a few more stores. Our new store in Delhi would come up in January next year," Louis Vuitton General Manager (Middle East and India) Damien Vernet said.

Besides Delhi and Mumbai, Louis Vuitton outlets may also come up in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata, he said.

Chanel, which gives its users of fragrances, accessories and apparels a style statement, wants to expand its business by opening more points of sales, more so in Mumbai.

"We would be expanding selectively since we need to find appropriate retail environment for our range," Chanel India Managing Director Xavier Bertrand said.

The government allows 51 per cent foreign direct investment in the single brand retail. However companies like Louis Vuitton and Hermes have started lobbying for lifting the FDI threshold.

Visiting French Trade Minister Christine Lagarde, in fact, took up the issue with Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, who said the government would examine even reducing the customs duty on the import of luxury brands.