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Indian luxury street becoming crowded

With domestic luxury companies and western brands announcing one tie-up every month, India is being catapulted to the position of becoming the most preferred destination for int'l luxury brands, reports Varun Soni.

business Updated: Dec 25, 2007 20:58 IST
Varun Soni

Close on the heels of UK’s high-end departmental store Debenhams making its debut in India, Macy’s from the US is reportedly in the process of tying up with a local player and obtaining a licence from the government to set shop in the country.

Premier UK fashion brands like Marks & Spencer and Next, which are already present in India, are on an expansion spree. Labels such as Mango, French Connection, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have marked their presence here, while Gucci, Jimmy Choo and La Perla have blueprints ready. Then there are wristwatches from Fossil, Dunhill menswear and Escada -— the list is increasing by the day. India is being catapulted to the position of becoming the most preferred destination for international luxury brands today.

So much so that there is a tie-up announced between local Indian companies and luxury brands from the West, primarily from Europe, every month. Today, one luxury brand store opens in the country every fortnight. According to a survey by MasterCard, the demand for luxury goods and services in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow by 12 per cent annually over the next 10 years.

In fact, the demand for luxury goods and products in the region is expected to rise to Rs 10,360 crore by 2016, driven primarily by emerging markets like India. The size of the Indian luxury market today is estimated to be about Rs 160 crore, which is set to rise to a phenomenal Rs 1,200 crore by 2015.

With an eye on this growing market, some brands have already begun locating themselves outside the precincts of five-star hotels. For instance, Mont Blanc has set shop in Gold Souk, Gurgaon, apart from being present in five-star hotels. Gold Souk is also reportedly in talks with other luxury brands like Rolex, Cartier and Chopard to finalise similar deals. DLF has already brokered deals with Armani, Gucci, D&G, Salvatore Ferragamo, among others, to open their outlets in its luxury malls. Recently, an upmarket French lingerie brand, Etam, also set foot on Indian shores.