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India all set to become next luxury retail destination

International luxury goods makers are planning to foray into India in a big way, perceiving the country as a major "retail destination" of top- end products.

business Updated: Nov 07, 2007 15:34 IST

International luxury goods makers are planning to foray into India in a big way, perceiving the country as a major "retail destination" of top- end products.

"India is becoming the beacon of the future," said Tikka Shatrujit Singh, advisor to the Chairman of Louis Vuitton company, a French leather and fashion brand that is set to expand its footprint in the country.

An environment has now been created for consumption of high-end luxury goods and services, UB Global CEO Shashikanth said, which is all set to roll out a luxury retail project, UB City-Collection, in first quarter of next year.

"The group had already signed up 10 international brands including names like Dunhil Gucci, Mont Blanc, Van CLeef, Arpels, Zegna and would bring in 12 others, Shashikanth added.

The luxury retail market, which is currently in its nascent stage, was roughly estimated to be around Rs 1,500 crore and expected to grow at 20 per cent in next five years.

The booming stock market and the recent news that India's leading industrialist, Mukesh Ambani, had even overtaken Bill Gates, to become the richest person in the world, is an indication that the country was ready for that ultimate 'haute couture' experience, Vivek Kaul, Retail and Leisure Advisory of Jones Lang LaSalle retail advisory service, told PTI.

"Indians have become global," he said adding that the growing exposure to international brands had changed the dice in favour of the luxury retail segment.

The luxury retail market is all set to evolve in a major way. In the beginning the consumer might go in for small things like a cufflink, a purse, but you will soon see the consumer graduating to more high end products and services, Vivek said.

The advent of `aspirational shoppers' is expected to add a thrust to this emerging segment.

These young shoppers who aspired to acquire a lifestyle that was international and the best that the market offers, is what was going to take this segment to the next level of growth, he added.

"It is not merely all about `I have arrived syndrome'. It is also realising that the reputed brands bring along with world class quality and were not beyond one's reach," he said.

India, one of the country with the fastest growing high net worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, is being perceived now as the next hub of luxury goods consumers.