Italian luxury brands plan India expansion

Written by Agencies | New Delhi, March 28: | Updated: Mar 28 2008, 21:29pm hrs
With the Indian luxury market set to touch 30 billion dollars by 2015, Italy's premium menswear brands Brioni and Canali are firming up plans to strengthen their presence in the country.

Brioni, which opened its first boutique store in Mumbai last year in partnership with its franchisee Badasaab Designs, is all set to launch two new stores this year. Similarly, Canali, which currently has two franchise outlets with Genesis Colours, plans to have eight by 2010.

"We feel that the Indian market is more mature than other Asian markets and that is why we want to expand operations here. Our second store will open shortly in Delhi, while the third one will come up by this year-end in Bangalore," Brioni CEO Andrea Perrone said on the sidelines of the Mint-Hindustan Times Luxury Conference.

The company expects to start making profits from its Indian operations from next year. Echoing similar sentiments, Canali Sales and Marketing Director Paolo Canali said, "By 2008-end, we will have five stores with two coming up in Delhi and Bangalore within six months, eventually going up to eight by 2010."

He said the company might also look at sourcing fabrics and natural fibres from India. "We are very closely monitoring some of the Indian companies which are providing very good quality fabrics, though we have not finalised anyone as yet."

However, the Italian majors feel that availability of quality locations for luxury retailing was an issue. "We are finding it difficult to find the right kind of space and location to execute the plans," Brioni CEO Perrone said.

Expressing similar views, Paolo Canali also said that the company's expansion plans in India would depend on getting ideal locations.