Sunday, February 3, 2013

Italian Brands Begin Partner Hunt In India

A clutch of Italian fashion brands is gearing up to enter India, in the latest thrust by high-end merchandise makers wanting to tap new money in a country where luxury retail is showing signs of a pick-up.

Fashion houses Moschino and Alberta Ferretti, Pollini, Gattinoni, Byblos and Scorpion Bay have signed up their entry strategy and partner search operations. Joining these brands are Brunello Cucinelli and Sergio Rossi who are also in talks for a partnership in the country.

India's luxury market is expected to touch $14.73 billion by 2015, according to industry estimates, from an estimated $8.21 billion this year. Analysts attribute it to the expanding class of high net-worth individuals in the country.

India is aleady playing host to sevelral foreign fashion brands, including Italy's Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tod's and Boggi Milano, which sell their products through local partnerships.

Not all partnerships, however, have fared well, making potential entrants doublethink their India plan. Iconic Italian brand Prada is yet to enter the country, for instance.

India recently allowed 100% FDI in single-brand retail and 51% in multi-brand retail, but with a rider that 30% of sourcing should be done locally.

Despite the easing, luxury brands still prefer partnerships, as operations are easier through such arrangements.

Source: The Economic Times | Business of Brands | February 2013 | New Delhi | India

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