Multi-brand Italian retail venture soon

Kolkata, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 07:30am hrs
Italian retail companies are exploring opportunities to form a conglomerate and promote a multi-brand chain in India.

Several Italian companies have made their mark in India over the last couple of years. The Italian retail venture is likely to take off within a year, said a member of an Italian trade commission.

On the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Italian trade commissioner Giancarlo Lamio told reporters, "It may not be a mono-brand showroom like Benetton. What the companies are looking at is a common outlet to showcase and sell their products".

Italian fashion brand Versace recently opened its first boutique in India, which has attracted other Italian brands like Gucci and Giorgio Armani.

According to Lamio, not many are interested in opening up mono-brand stores in India. Many of them are exploring opportunities to come together to form a multi-brand chain of stores. They have followed similar models in the US and Europe. "Normally, the names of the chains are not fixed but are country-specific," Lamio said.

So far, the main destinations for retail brands have been Mumbai and Delhi. The Italian companies might follow the same route, said Lamio.

Recently, Italy set up a Euro 300 million (Rs 1,700 crore) Go India fund. Seven Italian banks are contributing to the fund to help small and medium Italian enterprises do business with India.