Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gitanjali sings JV with Italian firm, to launch luxury brand stores

NEW DELHI: Gitanjali Lifestyle, a subsidiary of the Gitanjali Group, unveiled "Opulence," an exhibition showcasing products from 14 luxury brands from Europe, which they now plan to make available to the Indian consumers through a chain of stores across the country under the banner of Gitanjali Lifestyle.

The Gitanjali Group has entered the lifestyle market in a 50:50 JV with the Morellato & Sector group. In its stores, it will house all of the watches and jewellery brands of the Italian group, which includes Morellato, Molecole, Sector, Philip watch, Roberto Cavalli Timewear among others.

Also available in the stores will be brands like Stefan Hafner, Nina Ricci, Greggio and Campo Marzio, and the products that will be sold in these stores will include watches, jewellery, silverware, writing instruments and other fashion accessories.

Speaking about the launch, Gitanjali Lifestyle GM of operations Amitabh Singh said, "We intend to open 200 stores in the metros and mini-metros across the country over the next two and a half years. 25 of them will be opened by the end of the year, and we expect to open at least 6 of them this quarter. Our target right now is the north Indian region which includes Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Ludhiana."

The investment of the Gitanjali Group will range between $15-20 million (around Rs 600-800 million)and the Gitanjali Lifestyle brand will include jewellery stores, fashion stores, Just Cuts stores (salons), Bezel stores (watches), lifestyle stores, Greggio Argento stores (silverware) and luxury malls.

Although there are already a number of stores selling luxury designer wear to the Indian consumers, Singh is optimistic about his stores' prospects in the sector.

"The luxury goods market in India is big and ever growing. It is no longer a preserve of only the aristocrats and super-affluent," he says.

"We know that brands like Dior, Rolex and Rado are available in India but I feel that the market is big enough for all of the brands to play in. Travelled consumers know that Roberto Cavalli and Nina Ricci are well known names in the international market but until now they were not available in India," says Singh. "We have widened the option available to the Indian consumer and to have fourteen big name brands under one roof is the icing on the cake."

The target group defined includes the high-networth individuals, sec A and A+ crowds. To reach out to their consumers, the group will use the print and electronic media. Also in their agenda is directed marketing campaign for target user group.

The outlets will be marked by the ambience and the location of the stores such that the exclusivity attached to any luxury brand is not diluted. Moreover, the group plans to build Opulence as a property that would be organised and carried to different cities across India.

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