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Foreign brands itching for retail entry in to India

Dec '05
Top foreign retailers are now targeting Indian market. As government is weighing several options regarding the FDI policy in retail, over ten foreign companies have already launched or expressed their desire to set up stores here.

Some have revealed plans to opt for franchisee route, while many are eagerly waiting to get in.

Most brands are aiming for the premium end. Estimates show that, the premium apparel segment in India is valued at about Rs 1,900 crore and growing at 20 per cent. Madura garments has recently entered into an exclusive distribution tie-up with fashion brand Esprit, who has outlets in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

Hemchandra Javeri, President, Madura Garments, believes this to be the most profitable time for retail.

The premium market is growing at about 30 percent per annum. Javeri points out that market for diamonds is growing at 26 percent per annum. He says that India has a lot of young people and the power of purchasing is increasing.

Aigner, Bvlgari, Chanel, Clarks, Guess, Esprit, Hugo Boss, Mango, Mark & Spencers and Tommy Hilfiger have already built a retail presence in the country, while market watchers point out that several more such as DKNY, Debenhams, FCUK, Ikea, Fendi, NEXT, Mother Care, Trussardi, Versace and Zara have charted out a strategy to enter the Indian market.

The UK-based footwear brand Clarks has entered into a franchisee tie-up with Lifestyle India Private Ltd and plans to invest £20 million in India over the next five years to open outlets. The brand has set up exclusive stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

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