British luxury goods major Alfred Dunhill marked its foray into the Indian retail market with the launch of its first store in the Capital on Saturday and said it will launch four more stores in the next two years in the country.
Duhill specilizes in premium men's luxury leather goods, writing implements, lighters, timepieces, fragrances and clothing. Its first Indian store is housed in New Delhi's Shangri-La Hotel.
"We plan to launch four stores in the first two years in India and have eight stores in all major Indian cities within five years," said Mark Newman, Dunhill Asia Pacific managing director.
The Indian economy is booming and there is growth in the luxury retail segment as well. I am hoping that India would contribute to at least 10 per cent of Dunhill's profit," Newman added.
Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar is Dunhill's brand ambassador in India.
While inaugurating the store, Karan Johar said, "For me it is wonderful to be associated with this brand as my father was a Dunhill loyalist. He wore only Dunhill clothes so I have an emotional attachment to the brand."
"I myself have been wearing Dunhill clothes and accessories for a few years now. Shopping is my favourite pastime and I am very fond of Dunhill products especially their shoes and belts," added Johar.
Partnering Dunhill in India is Brandhouse Retail Ltd, which is the subsidiary of S. Kumars Nationwide Ltd. (SKNL).
"Setting up a store like this requires an investment of about Rs. 40 million. Dunhill offers total clothing solutions for men from formal and casual wear to accessories like shoes, cufflinks, ties and bags," said Nitin Kasliwal, chairman of Brandhouse Retails Ltd. and vice chairman of S Kumars Nationwide Ltd.
One of the leading textile and apparel companies of India, SKNL has brands like S Kumars, Reid &Taylor, Belmonte and Carmichael house. Talking about the company's expansion plans, Kasliwal said," We are planning to bring in a US home textile brand and are engaged in talks to finalize the deal."
Tarun Joshi, CEO of Brandhouse Retails Ltd, said "Brandhouse will become a listed entity on the stock market by July. Under Brandhouse, we will invest about four billion rupees in retail over a three year period."
SKNL has been focussing on the introduction of international luxury brands like Dunhill in India.
"We are launching Escada stores in Delhi and Mumbai soon. We will also set up 10 stores of London's super premium level garment brand Stephen's Brothers across India by September," said Joshi.
"We are also bringing in two more fashion and fashion accessories brands. While one is European, the other is from the US," he added.