Category Archives: #india

Dubai-based Lulu group launches India’s first Toys”R”Us store

Dubai-based Lulu group launches India’s first Toys”R”Us store in Bengaluru

The store opened to a huge crowd, with the first customer buying toys worth more than Rs. 1 lakh.

Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group has launched the global retail toy brand Toys“R”Us in India, with the first store being opened in Bangalore, today.

The first store, touted to be an experiential one, has opened at Phoenix Market City, Bangalore and was met with a huge crowd on its opening day. Tablez India, a division of LuLu group, will run the stores.

In India, the brand has launched the store in two formats – Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, a one-stop destination for baby essentials.

The store offers a full range of toys for both boys and girls in the age group 3 to 11 years and will sell everything from action figures to dolls, books, role play kits, remote-controlled cars, blasters, plush, wheel goods and bikes,

On the occasion of the launch of the store, Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Tablez India, said “We are delighted at setting up the first Toys“R”Us store in Bengaluru.  India is among the fastest growing market for toys retail and is growing at a rate of 15 to 20% percent annually. We are planning to expand our stores in other parts of the country. We are aiming to have our second store in Delhi by November this year and by end of this financial year we will have two more stores in Chennai and Mumbai.”

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Amazon invests $27.6m in Indian retailer

CEO Jeff Bezos has allocated $5 billion toward Amazon’s expansion in India

Amazon.com  is set to buy a 5 percent stake in Indian retailer Shoppers Stop, valued at $27.6 million (1.79 billion-rupee), as the US company steps up efforts to gain ground in the fast-growing consumer market.

Shoppers Stop’s board approved the issuance of 4.4 million shares to a unit of Amazon for 407.78 rupees ($6.28) each, the Mumbai-based company said in an emailed statement late Saturday. As part of the deal, Amazon experience centres – which let customers test out the products available online – will be set up across Shoppers Stop’s network of 80 bricks-and-mortar stores in India.

CEO Jeff Bezos has allocated $5 billion toward Amazon’s expansion in India as it seeks to secure an advantage over local rivals in the South Asian nation. The e-commerce giant has a lot riding in the country after its washout in China, where the dominance of Alibaba Group and other domestic players made Amazon’s entry difficult.

Shoppers Stop, which sells cosmetics to clothing and home appliances at its outlets, will have an exclusive flagship store on Amazon’s Indian site where it will retail its entire portfolio of more than 400 brands, the company said. Shares of Shoppers Stop have gained 45 percent this year and closed at 418.1 rupees on Friday in Mumbai.

The deal will be Amazon’s first investment in a publicly traded retailer in India.

Forever 21 Opens 4th Store in Mumbai

Feb 28: Forever 21, a leading fast fashion brand from Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL), part of the Aditya Birla group, is further strengthening its foothold in Mumbai with the launch of its 4th store, taking the total count to 15 stores in India.
Forever 21 is a California-based fast fashion brand that entered the Indian market in 2010. In July 2016, ABFRL acquired the exclusive online and offline rights to Forever 21’s India network from Diana Retail Pvt Ltd.
“Having established a strong affinity with fashionable Indians in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad, Forever 21 creates a new fashion destination for the uber-stylish Mumbaikars with its 4th store at Phoenix Market City. Bringing global trends and runway fashion closer to the fashionistas, Forever 21 promises to provide a fashion journey with the latest looks and Spring Summer 17 collection,” said a company statement on Tuesday.
Complementing Forever 21 apparel and accessories, the new store will feature the retailer’s other brands, including 21MEN-a line of fresh, fast fashion for men of all ages, Love & Beauty-a cosmetics line and Forever 21’s lingerie and shoe line.
Abhinav Zutshi, India Business Head, Forever 21, said, “we are proud to say that Forever 21 is the most loved fashion brand by Mumbaikars and our 4th store launch is a testimony to the love and support we get from our consumers. Forever 21 brings the latest global runway trends to India and we aspire to make them accessible for fashion conscious millennials.”
Based in Mumbai, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd manufactures and retails clothing, footwear, and leather products. ABFRL was formed after the consolidation of the branded apparel businesses of Aditya Birla Group comprising Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd’s (ABNL) Madura Fashion division and ABNL’s subsidiaries Pantaloons Fashion and Retail Ltd (PFRL) and Madura Garments Lifestyle Retail Company Ltd (MGLRCL) in May 201 Post the consolidation, PFRL was renamed as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd.
ABFRL shares were trading at Rs 159.65, up 1.40% from the previous closing of Rs 157.45, on BSE at 11.43 am today.

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H&M to open its first India store at Delhi around September

H&M to open its first India store at Delhi around September

Bengaluru: Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz AB (H&M) will open its first flagship store in India at a Delhi mall by September, the retailer said in a media statement on Wednesday morning.
  The news comes with the appointment of country manager for H&M in India, Janne Einola, formerly deputy country manager for the brand in Finland and the Baltics. “We are excited to present the complete H&M experience to our Indian customers,” Einola added in the statement.
The 25,000 sq. ft store will come up in Delhi’s Select Citywalk mall that also houses other foreign fashion labels such as Zara, Mango, Tommy Hilfiger and GAP. H&M is the latest brand to woo young aspirational shoppers in India. Last month, American fashion retailer GAP opened its first flagship store in the country with a promise to open 40 more.
In 2013, H&M promised an investment of Rs.700 crore to open 50 single-brand retail stores in India through a foreign direct investment (FDI) route.
H&M is popular for its classy styles and affordable fashion for women, men, children and teenagers. Even as large fashion retailers, especially in the Americas, have struggled to sell more clothing to millennials, H&M has seen consistent growth in home and overseas markets. It recently opened its largest store in Manhattan at 63,000 sq. ft as part of its plan to open 400 stores in 2015 in markets including Taiwan, India, South Africa, and Peru, among others.
Run by Swedish billionaire Karl-Johan Erling Göran Persson, the H&M group has over 3,600 stores in 58 markets worldwide and registered $22.33 billion in sales in 2014. The chain was started by Persson’s grandfather in 1947.

India’s leading retailers -Future And Bharti-Join Force

In what is billed as one of the biggest retail unions, India’s two leading retailers – Future Group and Bharti Retail – announced a merger earlier this week.
Future, started by retail pioneer Kishore Biyani, runs hypermarkets under the Big Bazaar brand in addition to stores like Home Town and Foodhall. Privately-held Bharti, owned by billionaire Sunil Mittal and his family (who also run telecom major Bharti Airtel ) owns supermarkets under the name Easyday.
After the merger, the $2.4 billion (total revenues) Future-Bharti combine would have 571 retail stores across 243 cities and command 18.5 million square feet in retail space. It will operate 203 Big Bazaar and Easyday hypermarkets, 197 Food Bazaar and Easyday supermarkets, and 171 stores spanning Home Town,eZone, FBB and Foodhall stores.
The merger will create two new entities –Future Retail (focused on retail) and Future Infrastructure (focused on infrastructure, investments and assets of both companies). Future Group will have 46 to 47 percent stake in both the entities while Bharti will get between 9-10 percent stake in each. In addition, Bharti will have debentures which can be converted into shares of Future Retail after 18 months.
The deal is subject to approvals from shareholders, the competition commission and the stock exchanges.



Indian retail pioneer Kishore Biyani plans to scale up to  4,000 small-format stores from the current 500 stores over the next six years after the merger with Bharti Retail

“They will have a pan-India footprint and they can share the logistics, back-end operations and property acquisition know-how,” says Arvind Singhal, chairman and managing director of management consulting firm, Technopak. “There’s a lot of fragmentation in the retail segment with retailers struggling to achieve critical mass because they’ve been denied access to international capital and international know-how. A number of companies will now be looking to grow by consolidation.”
The overall retail market in India is expected to double to $1.14 trillion in the next five years, according to a recent report by UBS Securities. (Modern trade makes up about 10 percent of the market.)
But growth in India’s retail sector has been hobbled by high debt, soaring rentals and lack of international capital. Competition is also intense both from mom-and-pop stores as well as e-tailers like Flipkart and Snapdeal, who are flush with funds from private equity investors and venture capitalists. Grocery websites like BigBasket, LocalBanya, Zopnow, PepperTap, Grofers, Zoppers and Jiffstore are also contributing to the competitive intensity.
Meanwhile, with the combined power, Biyani now has ambitious plans to have 4,000 smaller-format stores over the next six years. These stores will be opened under the Easyday brand in North India and Nilgiris and KB brand in southern and western India.
It is interesting to note that the first choice for Indian retailers has been to tie up with foreign retailers. In fact, Bharti had a wholesaling joint venture with Wal-Mart. They parted ways in 2013. Future Group has also been in talks with many foreign retailers.
But since foreign retailers have not been able to make a dent in the market, the two Indian retailers have joined forces. The new combine would rival the $2.8 billion (revenues) Reliance Retail with 2,621 stores across 200 cities.
 

 

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Ashapura plans to open 200 stores across India in 3 years

Ashapura Intimates Fashion plans to open 200 Valentine loungewear retail showrooms across India in three years on a franchise basis.


It plans to open 26 Valentine showrooms in Mumbai this year, most of which will be company-owned, it said in a statement on Monday.

Ashapura sells intimate garments such as lounge wear, bridal night wear, honeymoon sets, bathrobes, nightwear, relax-wear and sportswear.

IKEA to invest USD95.7m in 3 stores in India’s Maharashtra

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Swedish furniture retailing giant, IKEA, to set up two to three stores. Maharashtra is one of four states, including Telangana, Karnataka and Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), identified by IKEA to open its stores. One store will need more than eight acres (350,000 square feet). The company is on the lookout for locations in these states.

State Industries Minister Subash Desai told the Business Standard: ”Each store IKEA proposes to start in Maharashtra entails an investment of INR600 crore (INR6 billion, USD95.7 million). Each store will generate jobs for more than 1,000 people. Maharashtra is one of few states in India supportive of foreign direct investment in single-brand retailing.”  



India’s retail market expected to double in next 5 years

India’s retail market expected to double in next 5 years: report
Mumbai: India’s retail market is expected to double to $1 trillion by 2020 from $600 billion in 2015 driven by income growth, urbanization and attitudinal shifts, a new report said.

While the overall retail market will grow at 12% per annum, modern trade will grow twice as fast at 20% per annum, and traditional trade at 10%, said the Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India report titled Retail 2020: Retrospect, Reinvent, Rewrite.

Modern trade includes supermarkets, hypermarkets and other organized retail outlets, while much smaller grocery stores are classified under traditional channels.

Modern trade is expected to grow three times to $180 billion in 2020 from $60 billion in 2015 and e-commerce at an even faster clip to quadruple in the same time to become a $60-70 billion market, said the report.

By 2020, average household income will increase three times to $18,448 from $6393 in 2010. Moreover, urbanisation will increase to 40% from 31% and over 200 million households will be nuclear, representing a 25-50% higher consumption per capita spend. Also, attitudinal shifts will be seen as 75% of the population will belong to generation I, that is they were below 14 years of age when the economy started opening and hence will have higher consumption levels, said the report.

Additionally, digital is also shaping the way consumers buy. There are currently 35 million people buying online and this will increase to 100 million in the next two years, said Gaurav Kapur, head of industry for retail and automotive, Google India at the Retailers Association of India’s Retail Leadership Summit 2015 in Mumbai while sharing that the online growth is being driven by the tier III and tier IV cities. Consumers are buying everything online; even big-ticket items like houses, cars and two wheelers, said Kapur.
The rapid growth of e-commerce has retailers thinking of their multi-channel strategy. “E-commerce cannot be ignored,” said Neville Noronha, chief executive officer, Avenue Supermarts Ltd, which runs the D’Mart retail chain, adding his company is evaluating its e-commerce strategy.
Even the Dubai-based Landmark Group which runs department store chain Lifestyle and Max in India is looking at leveraging different channels. “We want to invest in omni-channel,” said Ramanathan Hariharan, chief executive officer, Landmark Group.
Currently, most brick and mortar companies don’t have a good multichannel offering and hence, in the short term, pure play e-commerce companies are winning, said Abheek Singhi, senior partner and director, BCG Mumbai while sharing that in the long term, multi-channel retail will gain ground.
Meanwhile, brick and mortar retail challenges remain. For instance, the sales per square foot at Indian retail stores at Rs.1,500-2,000 per square foot is much lower than the international average of Rs.8,000-12,000 per sq. ft. Even the gross margins are lower in India by 7-8% than the international standards and the rentals are higher by 1.5-3% on an average, said the report.

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Wishing all our readers and followers a Happy New Year

All the best for 2015

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Fossil to invest USD6.3m to open 25 outlets in India

US-based watchmaker Fossil will invest up to INR40 crore (INR400 million, USD6.3m) to open 25 retail outlets in India by 2017 as it aims to reposition itself from a watch brand to a fashion lifestyle brand.

The company, known for its range of watches, will sell non-watch products such as leather bags for women and men, wallets, eye-wear and jewellery through its retail outlets in the country.

“We want to re-position Fossil from a watch brand to a fashion lifestyle brand. We will focus on developing non-watch categories. We will sell these products only through our retail stores. We plan to open 25 outlets by 2017 and will invest INR35-40 crore,” Fossil India Brand Head Sumit Ghosh told PTI.

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Insights: Top 10 retail predictions for 2015

Framingham, Mass. — By 2017, three times as many retailers as now will explicitly underpin their customer and operations strategies on 3rd platform technologies. That’s one of IDC Retail Insights’ top 10 worldwide retail predictions for 2015. IDC revealed the predictions during a Web conference, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Retail Agenda 2015 Predictions.

The top 10 predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Worldwide Retail FutureScape are:

1. By 2017, three times as many retailers as now will explicitly pin their customer and operations strategies on 3rd platform technologies.

2. In 2015, CIOs will invest in omni-channel integration technologies as a top priority to support growth in the omni-channel shopper sales premium of 30%.

3. Over the next three years, half of CIOs across the top 250 retailers will adopt omni-channel IT governance fit for a 3rd platform era to combat shadow IT.

4. By 2016, the top 150 retailers will improve their return on investment (ROI) on hyper-personal loyalty based on unified customer engagement.

5. By 2018, 60% of omni-channel retailers will have launched customer mobile payment initiatives to enhance existing ecommerce, loyalty, and in-store mobile point of sale (MPOS) investments.

6. As cyber attacks increase, 50% of the top 250 retailers will have reduced exposure and loss by more than 50% by the end of 2016 with intelligent sense and respond security strategies.

7. By the end 2016, product intelligence (PI) will inform 80% of the top ten e-commerce retailers’ pricing decisions and drive mainstream adoption of high-velocity pricing.

8. By 2018, on demand socially networked delivery services (including Uber, EBay Now, Shutl, Deliv, Postmates, Instacart, Amazon, and Alibaba) will perform 90% of all intra-day direct-to-consumer deliveries.

9. By the end of 2015, at least 25 retailers with location-based services will increase same shopper sales impacted by location-based services (LBS) by 5% via analytics-driven agile engagement and operations.

10. By 2016, even as private brand growth flattens in the U.S., consumer driven private brand product innovation will drive a 10% improvement in customer visit frequency.

“Relentless technology innovation underpins consumers’ participatory behavior and expectations,” said Leslie Hand, VP of IDC Retail Insights. “The most successful retailers will find opportunities by putting mobility, analytics, cloud, and social to work in their customer and operations strategies, adopting omni-channel integration technologies and IT governance, unifying customer engagement for hyper-personalized loyalty, adopting product intelligence for marketing and competitive insight, employing location-based services via analytics driven agile engagement and operations, utilize socially-networked on-demand delivery services, and gain share with private label merchandise.”

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International Retail Franchising Summit, March 11th 2015, Olympia London

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Bulgari set for India return

wealthy Indians, said people familiar with the brand’s plans who declined to be named.

The brand’s launch comes after it received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in July to set up single-brand retail stores through a joint venture with New Delhi-based Luxco India Retail Pvt. Ltd.
Bulgari, known for its jewellery designs, watches, perfumes and accessories, promised an initial investment of about Rs.2.67 crore to roll out operations in India, the second largest consumer of gold in the world.
To be sure, Bulgari sought the government’s permission to open boutiques in 2013. “Things moved a bit slowly, but now they are ready to launch their store,” a person familiar with the launch said on condition of anonymity.

In 2011, LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group headed by French billionaire Bernard Arnault, bought the Italian jeweller famous for dressing iconic Hollywood film stars in a $5.2 billion (around Rs.31,930 crore today) deal.
The firm’s entry will further strengthen LVMH’s position in India, adding to its stable of luxury labels such as Louis Vuitton, famous for its bags, and Christian Dior watches.
Luxury shopping may be at a nascent stage here, but Indian consumers are willing to trade up to foreign brands. Luxury experts say there are several domestic brands in the high-end jewellery segment and it is a well-serviced market.

“Bulgari will be part of a highly competitive and discerning jewellery market,” said Saba Ali, senior associate at Altagamma Foundation, a conglomerate of several high-end Italian firms with brands that include Fendi and Versace.
Bulgari first made an entry into India in 2004 with a silent partner through stores in Delhi and Mumbai. It exited the country in 2011 only to seek the government’s permission to open stand-alone stores.

The Indian luxury market stands at $14 billion, according to Boston Consulting Group. It is split across conventional luxury at 30%, services at 40% and devices (cars, yachts and gadgets) at 30%. It is largely similar in composition to the global $1.7 trillion market, the consultancy said in a recent report.
At the recently concluded Mint Luxury Conference in Mumbai, representatives of large luxury houses said regulatory and infrastructure constraints are likely to restrict growth of luxury goods and services in the country.

“There are 17 Italian luxury brands in India now and that number has remained unchanged since 2005,” Armando Branchini, vice-chairman of Altagamma Foundation, said at the conference.
Watch and jewellery retailers have benefited from growing aspirations and higher disposable incomes of Indian consumers. The Indian shopper’s propensity to spend on watches has over the past 12 months pushed brands such as the Swatch Group to seek government’s permission to open single-brand stores.
Originating in Rome, Bulgari was founded as a jewellery shop in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari. It is popular for selling bold jewellery designs that use precious stones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

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The ‘best-performing’ retail CEOs in the world

While retail can get swept up in the newest cross-channel strategy and payment technologies, it’s a company’s long-term vision that ultimately determines longevity in this sometimes volatile sector.

Harvard Business Review recently released its annual list of the 100 best-performing CEOs in the world, assessing the heads of companies in the S&P Global 1200 by the end of 2013. A group of researchers determined the increase in total shareholder return and market capitalization for each CEO’s tenure. Eight retail CEOs made the cut, with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos taking the top spot.

Who else made the list? Read on to find out.

Jeff Bezos

Company: Amazon

Rank: 1

Bezos long-term performance nabbed him the top spot on the list, and the distinction as the only retail CEO in the top ten. Despite ongoing disputes with publishers and a net loss in Q3, Bezos’ strategic vision for Amazon has consistently provided shareholders with results.

Tadashi Yanai

Company: Fast Retailing

Rank: 11

As Asia’s largest apparel company, Fast Retailing is now looking to expand to the United States with new locations for its Uniqlo brand. It doesn’t stop there: Founder and CEO Yanai has widely expressed his desire to surpass H&M and Inditex (owner of Zara) as the largest clothing company in the world.

Michael Balmuth

Company: Ross Stores

Rank: 25

As CEO of Ross Stores for 16 years, Balmuth stepped down from the chief executive spot this June. He is still actively involved with the company as executive chairman, and will no doubt have a hand in the opening of 95 new Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts stores.

Simon Wolfson

Company: Next

Rank: 43

Although less of a name in the U.S., Simon Wolfson took the top dog spot at British retailer Next in 2001 after starting at the company in 1991 as a sales assistant. Since then, he has helped the retailer expand its Next Home business and Next Directory online catalog, yielding over-performing share prices that have topped competitors like Marks & Spencer.

Carol Mayrowitz

Company: TJX

Rank: 51

One of only two women on the list, Mayrowitz became CEO of TJX, parent company of T.J. Maxx, Homegoods and Marshalls, in 2007. Since then, the company’s revenue has increased from $16 billion in 2007 to $27 billion in 2013. But the growth doesn’t stop there. TJX plans to expand its store base by 50%, with upwards of 5,000 new stores in existing markets.

Blake Nordstrom

Company: Nordstrom

Rank: 54 (tie)

Part of the fourth generation of Nordstrom family leadership, CEO Blake Nordstrom has been with the company since 1975 in various management and sales positions. The company continues to be a favorite for its customer service, and will continue to expand that service via text with the help of Twilio.

Terry Lundgren

Company: Macy’s

Rank: 66 (tie)

Even with the loss of the title of president in March, Lundgren still holds the positions of chairman, CEO, and chief customer officer at Macy’s, Inc. Previously CEO of Neiman Marcus, Lundgren has led Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s through many onmichannel initiatives that have helped the retailer increase sales and profits.

Michael Kowalaski

Company: Tiffany & Company

Rank: 92

Kowalaski has been with the iconic Tiffany & Co. since 1983, taking the title of CEO in 1999. He will step down March 31, 2015, to be replaced by Frederic Cumenal, currently president of the jewelry retailer.

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M&S to open 80 stores in india

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has revealed plans to launch 38 brand new stores in India by the year 2016 – which will boost the number
of branches to 80. On the 9th of October this year it opened a new space in Hyderabad at Jubilee Hills, and the aim is to open two more Hyderabad stores by 2014.

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Crocs India to reach out to a wider consumer base through multiple franchise partners

Innovative casual footwear brand Crocs India is setting foot in towns like Siliguri, Sikkim and Coimbatore through local partnership. The brand has already yjytmade a mark in the metros and now it is focusing on tier 1 and 2 towns where it hopes to strengthen its presence throughnk the franchise model.

Crocs took the global footwear market by storm with the massive success of its iconic clog in 2002. The footwear major has sold more than 200 million pairs of shoes in more than 90 countries around the world. In India too, Crocs has grown into a formidable brand in the fun footwear category and plans to cross the 100 stores benchmark.

Crocs India, as a strategy has always used local expertise to grow the brand. The brand has always been selective about choosing its partners, even replicating the same strategy in the online space through exclusive partnerships with only two leading online aggregators i.e. Jabong.com and Amazon.in. However, after consistent support from all quarters, the brand now plans to explore new partnerships in retail.

Nissan Joseph, General Manager, Crocs India
Mr. Nissan Joseph, General Manager, Crocs India adds, “We at Crocs have always believed in the value addition our multiple partners bring to the brand. They understand the local markets better and their expertise helps us offer the right mix of products to our customers. As we move into our next phase of expansion, we are aiming for a wider national reach and for this we want to explore more retail partnerships. The idea is to leverage their expertise in local understanding of what customers want.” Crocs began its operations in India in the year 2007. It now has 34 exclusive stores (including kiosks and factory outlets) in the country. Crocs products are also available in more than 15 cities across India in more than 300 multi-brand outlets.

Having tasted great success with this model, Crocs believes that the strategy will allow the brand to target the different needs of different consumers across the length and breadth of India. In this phase of expansion, Crocs aims to take the range across the country and reach out to a much wider audience base.

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Micky Jagtiani tops list of Gulf-based rich Indians

Middle East retailing king Micky Jagtiani has been named the richest Indian in the Gulf by Forbes magazine.

Seven Gulf-based Indians are included in the latest global ranking of rich Indians, with Jagtiani at number 17, worth $5.3 billion.

His Landmark Group, based in Dubai, started with one store in Bahrain in 1973 and now rakes in revenues of $5 billion annually, with 1800 stores across the region, Africa and India.

The second richest Indian in the Gulf, according to Forbes, is Ravi Pillai, chairman and CEO of the RP Group of Companies.

His wealth grew 65 percent in the past year, to $2.8 billion, moving him four places up the ladder to 30.

“I am honoured and thankful to Forbes for the ranking. However, I am even more delighted at the strong representation of Indian entrepreneurs from the region in the list, which underlines the contributions of Gulf-based NRIs to promoting all-round development here and in India,” Pillai said in a statement.

Pillai is the highest ranked Gulf tycoon originating from Kerala, and ranked above Lulu Group, Yusuffali MA, who was the third highest ranked GCC resident, at number 40, worth $2.3 billion.

Forbes said Lulu Group raked in $5.7 billion in revenues in the past year from its 110 hypermarkets, supermarkets and grocery outlets, mostly in the Middle East. It is now expanding to Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Other Gulf-based Indians on the list were: Sunny Varkey, founder of the world’s largest private education company GEMS Education, (#55, worth $1.8 billion); property mogul PNC Menon (#70, $1.4 billion); BR Shetty, whose NMC Health is the UAE’s largest healthcare firm, (#86, $1.1 billion), Azad Moopon, who chairs Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare, (#95, $1.1 billion).

It is the first time everyone in the top 100 is a billionaire, with combined wealth of $346 billion, up more than a third from 11 months ago, Forbes said.

The richest is Mukesh Ambani, who has topped the list for 8 years in a row, with $23.6 billion. He added $2.6 billion to his wealth, even as his $55 billion (market cap) Reliance Industries, battles the federal government’s decision to review a gas price increase approved by the previous regime.

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Ikea to invest $500 million more in India,eyes 25 stores in 10 years

World’s largest furniture retailer Ikea on Wednesday said it has plans to invest Rs. 12,500 crore to set up 25 stores in the country over the next decade.

The new stores, each needing investment of around Rs. 500 crore, will come in the cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, the Swedish furniture retailer said.

Ikea India has already got FIPB nod to invest Rs. 10,500 crore.

It will mobilise around $500 million more from its global partners for investing in these proposed stores.

“We are looking at investing around Rs. 12,500 crore to set up 25 stores at a cost of Rs. 500 crore each. We will be mobilising $500 million from our global partners for this venture,” Ikea India chief executive Juvencio Maeztu told a retail summit in Mumbai.

“It is difficult to specify any time-frame when we will set up the first store, still I can say we are working on it and we are in talks with different states and are looking at all major metros for land as we require very large area of land that is near a highway,” he added.

The company is likely to set up its first store in Bangalore or Hyderabad within the next couple of years. The company would require very large space as each store will be set up in an area measuring 3,50,000 sqft, he said, adding that it has not yet singled out any city for setting up its first store.

“For now, the priority is the right location and we are focusing on all major metros, the right location and the good price of land, which is important for us to start right,” he said.

Typically Ikea operates large format stores located on expressways close to large cities, where it sells various household goods such as flat pack furniture, furnishings etc at relatively lower prices.

Ikea plans to tie up with local suppliers for raw material for its forthcoming stores in the country, Maeztu said.

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Gap announces India expansion and higher quarterly profits

Launching in India is the latest step in the clothing retailer’s international expansion plan.

Gap plans to open its first stores in India in its latest international expansion.

The San Francisco-based retailer, which also owns the Old Navy and Banana Republic chains, said Thursday it will launch a total of 40 franchise Gap GPS 0.16% stores in Mumbai and Delhi in 2015 through a partnership with Indian textile company Arvind Lifestyle Brand Limited. The company said it has imported products from India for years and now it will look to tap into a market with 1.2 billion people.

“More than half of India’s population is under 25 and they are actively embracing fashion in today’s retail environment,” Ismail Seyis, VP of Gap’s global franchise, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to know that our brand awareness is very high and there is a deep affinity for Gap in India. We look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the marketplace and consumer needs to create the best possible Gap brand experience for the local consumers.”

The move to India is the latest step in Gap’s global expansion plan, which has placed the retailer in almost 50 countries. The company has 3,200 Gap-owned stores around the world as well as nearly 400 franchise-operated stores overseas. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to expand its presence in another ripe Asian market in China, where Gap expects to open 25 stores and 10 outlet stores this year. On Thursday, Gap said it expects to finish 2014 with a total of 110 Gap stores spread across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Last year, Gap expanded its presence in Latin America, opening stores in Mexico and Paraguay, and also in Europe with new locations in Hungary.

Also on Thursday, Gap released second-quarter profits of 75 cents per share, which was up 17% from the same quarter last year. The company’s sales came out just ahead of Wall Street estimates, hitting $3.98 billion for the quarter, up 3% year-over-year. The company also raised its earnings guidance for the full fiscal year to between $2.95 and $3 per share, after previously predicting it would fall between $2.90 and $2.95.

However, the company also reported that its comparable sales were flat in the second quarter after they increased by 5% during last year’s second quarter. Comparable sales for the Gap brand, specifically, were down 5% after rising 6% during the same quarter last year. Old Navy’s comparable sales were up 4%, while Banana Republic’s were flat.

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IKEA may open first India store in 2017

NEW DELHI: IKEA may take another three years to open its first store in India, because the world’s largest furniture retailer is yet to sign up real estate for its usually sprawling facilities.

And, the Swedish company will adopt a cluster approach when it rolls out the stores by opening multiple outlets in places like the National Capital Region of Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana in the first phase, said IKEA India chief executive Juvencio Maeztu.

“We plan to open several stores around the same time because we need to have volume. Why we need volume? As we want to give a good price and in order to give good price we need volume,” he told ET in an interview at IKEA’s office at Gurgaon.

“We are targeting these bubbles and plan to develop around these bubbles our sourcing abilities and we want to have better distribution around them … from there we want to move to the rest of India.”

Maeztu said since the company is yet to sign any land deals, he doesn’t know where the first store would come up.

IKEA was under spotlight for making the previous UPA government to change contentious conditions in India’s single-brand retail policy involving foreign investments.

It got approval in May 2013 to invest around Rs 10,500 crore to build a chain of stores.

The company is working on understanding the country’s market and building its suppliers base, besides looking for land. IKEA is scouting for 5-10 acres in each of the locations. It wants to set up stores in places that are close to highways and are connected by metro or other mass public transports.

IKEA considers the longterm potential of each store and, therefore, purchases land only after heavy deliberations, Maeztu said. Since the land prices are high in India, each of stores on average will cost Rs 800-1,000 crore, including the construction cost. Depending on land availability, IKEA wants to set up outlets on 300,000-400,000 sq ft.

“We are hopefully closing some (land) agreements and the construction in itself would take around two years.

Location is very important for us as we cannot move the stores,” Maeztu said. IKEA will initially focus on its famed brick-and-mortar sprawling stores, and look at selling online whenever India allows foreign retailers to do so. “We will be happy to add e-commerce as well but our primary mandate is to build our physical stores here,” he said. “Initially, Indian consumers want the real IKEA that we are famous for and we will be loyal to our concept.

This is important to build the brand. It is the best way for us to secure the IKEA concept and it is the best way for us to offer low prices,” he said. “Today we have six stores in London. Look at NCR (the national capital region) and over the time NCR would need more IKEA stores then London, New York, Paris or any other city in the world,” Maeztu said.

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MIchael Kors expands further in India

Michael Kors has already opened four stores within a year after its entry into India, and its retail networks presently counts stores in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. Michael Kors stores and operated by local partner Genesis Luxury. Given the positive feedback of the Indian market, Michael Kors aims to open additional stores later this year.

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Uniqlo is ready to open 1,000 stores in India

While Fast Retailing is currently looking for suppliers in India, its flagship brand Uniqlo may open a thousand stores in the country, over the next ten years.

Uniqlo has recently launched its new Paris flagship

That’s according to Times of India. Sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper that during the recent visit of the brand’s CEO Tadashi Yanai, he discussed this development with the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India is a large consumer market in the making. Valued at 58 billion dollars per year, the domestic textile and apparel market is expected to reach 141 billion dollars by 2021. Clothing giants such as Zara, Gap and recently H&M have successively made inroads into the country.

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India Reliance posts record $1-billion Q1 profit

Indian retail-to-energy group Reliance Industries Ltd reported a record $1-billion net profit for the financial first-quarter, fuelled by a strong petrochemicals performance.

Reliance, controlled by the country’s wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani, announced net profit for the three months to June climbed by a better-than-expected 13.7 percent to 59.57 billion rupees ($1 billion) in the same period a year ago.

The group, which owns a supermarket chain and a telecommunications company but derives most of its earnings from its massive energy operations, has “delivered a record level of consolidated net profit this quarter,” Ambani said.

The company “has a great pipeline of new projects” that will keep Reliance ahead of rivals, Ambani said in a statement.

The performance beat analysts’ expectations that the company, which runs the world’s biggest refinery complex, would post a net profit of around 54 billion rupees during the first quarter of the 2014-15 financial year.

“The petrochemicals business performance highlights the strength of our portfolio-mix,” Ambani said.

“Alongside, this robust financial performance, we also made significant progress on our growth commitments,” he said.

The company’s strong lineup of new projects “will give Reliance “an enduring competitive advantage”.

He said that the company was further expanding its retail business in existing markets and “exploring newer markets”.

Reliance’s revenues jumped by 7.2 percent to 1.1 trillion rupees ($17.9 billion) in the first quarter from a year earlier.

The company said that gas output from offshore fields in the KG-D6 block on the country’s east coast had fallen by 15 percent during the quarter from a year earlier.

Earlier this month, the government refused to allow Reliance to recover $2.4 billion it had invested to develop the D6 offshore gas block as production had fallen dramatically and was significantly below expected volume.

The company said the fall in output was mainly due to the shutdown of wells in D1 and D3 fields in the D6 block.

The matter is under arbitration amid claims by the oil ministry that output has fallen because the company failed to drill the number of wells it had pledged.

The company says that gas, used widely in energy-hungry India for power, is far harder to extract than initially expected.

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Switzerland’s Swatch ‘to open stores in India’

Swatch has applied to set up stores in India, a report said Saturday, as the Swiss-based watchmaker moves to tap a growing and increasingly accessory-conscious consumer class.

Swatch, with $10 billion in annual sales, has made a formal proposal to the commerce ministry under which the company would have 100 percent control of its business, the Business Standard daily said.

The watchmaker would be the biggest international group to seek entry into India’s 100-percent-owned single-brand retail segment after furniture-maker IKEA and fashion clothing firm H&M, both Swedish companies.

Swatch watches, including Omega, Longines and Tissot, are currently are sold in India through dealers and third-party stores.

Neither Swatch nor the Indian government could immediately be reached for comment.

Experts say the move is a sign that Swatch wants to create a stronger Indian brand identity.

The Indian watch market is forecast to rise to $2.7 billion by 2020 from $898 million now, according to a recent industry report.

India’s new right-wing government hopes foreign investors will start looking closely again at the country after turning away in the face of a sharp growth slowdown and corruption scandals under the previous left-leaning Congress government, ousted at the polls in May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to improve India’s investment climate, ease bureaucratic red tape and create a more predictable regulatory and tax climate.

But introducing free-market change is politically fraught with many politicians, unions and civil society groups favouring government spending and protectionism over economic liberalisation.

The Modi government, despite its pro-business tone, has already said it opposes a law passed by the previous government allowing foreigners to own stores selling more than one brand of products because it wants to protect India?s many small shopkeepers from supermarket giants such as Wal-Mart, Tesco (Xetra: 852647 – news) and others.

Swatch’s reported application comes soon after French supermarket chain Carrefour (Paris: FR0000120172 – news) ‘s announced its departure. Carrefour, which operates five wholesale stores in India, made the announcement after the government reiterated opposition to foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

Wal-Mart last year ditched a plan to open retail stores to focus on wholesale activities and e-commerce.

The Economic Times separately said the government was unlikely to formally reverse Congress’s decision allow 51 percent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail for fear of sending negative signals to the foreign investor community.

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Ikea to invest USD100m in first Indian outlet

Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer will have its first Indian store in Hyderabad. A team of representatives of Ikea, led by its CEO Juvenico Maeztu met Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in Hyderabad today and discussed the plans.

Welcoming the decision of the company, KCR assured that all the necessary clearances would be granted through a single window to expenditure the opening of the store in the city. The opening of retail shops will involve an investment of $ 100 milålion or Rs 550 to Rs 660 crore. The state was also hoping for other economic benefits through backward integrations of supplier linkages.

Women entrepreneur groups, bamboo and wood artisans, carpet makers of Warangal as well as SERP women’s groups have been identified as potential suppliers.

Assuring full cooperation, the Chief Minister said that, his office will have a chasing cell to take care of the needs of potential investors. He said the Telangana government would show a way to the whole country as to what should be a real single window.

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Uniqlo ready to set up 1000 stores in India

NEW DELHI: Japanese retail giant Uniqlo on Wednesday suggested that it will open up to 1,000 stores in India in the coming years to tap into the growing consumption story and announced a strategy to source garments from the country.

Two sources familiar with the development told TOI that Uniqlo chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers, disclosed the plan to open stores during these interactions. “We are looking to invest in the retail business in India… We will look to open 1,000 stores but it will take more than ten years as it is not easy to open so many stores,” said a source, who did not wish to be identified. When contacted, a company executive said Yanai was not available for comment.

Uniqlo, which started as a chain of suburban roadside stores in Japan, is targeting close to 1,500 stores across the globe by the end of August. Currently, it has 632 stores outside Japan and moved into malls a decade ago, the company website said. Now, its strategy involves opening flagship stores in the plush shopping districts of New York, London and Shanghai.

The Japanese chain has been looking at entering India for the past few years but had deferred its plans. It is not clear if it will rope in a partner for its single-brand retail foray or operate through a wholly-owned subsidiary in the country.

Several foreign retailers have set up shop in India through the single-brand window, which includes the likes of Marks and Spencer, IKEA and Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). But, most are moving ahead with their plans at a measured pace. For instance, IKEA is yet to open its first store despite getting government approval a year ago. H&M had said it plans to open 50 outlets in 2014.

Before Uniqlo enters the retail business, it wants to have a pool of vendors to source garments. The company is in talks with the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) to identify 10 garment exporters, which have scale and comply with international specifications and standards. Sources said that the Japanese firm may invest in some of the Indian companies, if required.

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US garment retailer Gap set to enter India with branded stores next year

New Delhi: American garment retailer Gap Inc. is set to open its stores in India early next year. The company is close to signing a franchisee deal with Arvind Ltd which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, people familiar with the development told ET.

Gap has almost sealed the deal with Ahmedabad-based textile conglomerate Arvind Ltd to open its branded stores in India, a person privy to the talks between the two companies said. “It is more or less a done deal and will be announced in a week or ten days,” said the person, who did not wish to be identified.

“Initially it will be a franchisee model with Gap having the call option to buy stake in the company in future,” the person said, adding that a group of senior Gap officials was expected to visit India to announce the deal.

Arvind Ltd has been scouting for about 10,000 outlets in various malls across the country for Gap brand and the group is on the verge of securing spaces in several malls in New Delhi and Mumbai, ET has learnt.

A three-member team of Gap’s global operations is set to visit India next week and along with Rajiv Malik, general manager of Gap’s sourcing office in India, expected to finalise the spaces lined up in malls by Arvind in India.

“Initially Arvind will run the stores, but Gap will be very much involved,” said the second person with direct knowledge of the matter. “The business will be structured in a manner that Gap will have say in real estate, look of the stores and the merchandise…Gap will control all aspects of the operation,” he added.

Malik declined to comment on the matter while J. Suresh, MD of Arvind Brands was not immediately available for comments.
Gap will join global fashion apparel brands such as Zara, Mango and Marks & Spencer, among others, that already have presence in India. Gap’s other global rival, Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz, last year received approval for a fully-owned subsidiary in India and is planning to open its H&M-branded stores in the country later this year.

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Marks & Spencer is planning to open 60 more stores in India by 2016

New Delhi: Marks & Spencer is planning to open 60 more stores in India by 2016 in order to claim a “leadership position” in the domestic retail market. The retailer “plans to open a total of 100 stores by 2016,” M&S said in a statement on Tuesday.

At present, M&S operates 40 stores in India through 51:49 joint venture with Reliance Retail. A total of 100 stores also include 20 lingerie and beauty stores.

Commenting on the announcement, Marks & Spencer Reliance India MD Venu Nair said: “Together with our partner Reliance Retail, we are continuing to invest into accelerating our growth in India as we build a leadership position in the market. The strong performance of our products presents us with an exciting growth opportunity,” he added.

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Selfridges was named ‘Best Department Store in the World’

New York — The United Kingdom’s Selfridges was named ‘Best Department Store in the World’ for the third consecutive time by the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS).

The award was given at the group’s Global Department Store Summit, which was held last week. The event is held every other year.

Selfridges was in competition for the award with Macy’s and the German retailer, Breuninger.

“We are thrilled that Selfridges has again been recognized as the best department store in the world,” said Anne Pitcher, managing director of Selfridges & Co. “We have had a terrific couple of years since last winning, and it is a tribute to the commitment of our teams that we have been honored with the award again this year. It gives us even greater impetus to continue to exceed our customers’ expectations and deliver to them a unique and extraordinary shopping experience.”

IGDS is the largest association of department stores world.From ChainStoreAge.com

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Reliance Industries’s retail chain now largest in India

Reliance Industries Ltd today said its retail chain has become the largest in the country and reported a cash profit in 2013-14.
Revenue at Reliance Retail rose 34 per cent to Rs 14,496 crore in 2013-14 from a year earlier.
“Retail business has turned around and is now India’s largest retail chain,” Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
The retail business’ profit before depreciation, interest and taxes was Rs 363 crore in FY14, the company said.
The retail business has established market leadership in mostly all of the sectors it operates in. The company added 225 stores and 2.7 million operating square feet in the year across the sectors, it added.
“As on March 31, 2014, Reliance Retail operated 1,691 stores across 146 cities, with 11.7 million of operating square feet,” it said.
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, Reliance Retail reported a 19.27 per cent increase in turnover to Rs 3,639 crore from Rs 3,051 crore a year earlier.
“The fashion and lifestyle sector delivered strong performance in the quarter, fuelled by its focus on providing customers with fashionable, high-quality products at great value. The focus on customer and product proposition delivered record revenues and growth, both in the quarter and for the year,” the company said.
In the digital sector, Reliance Retail said it has crossing 250 stores, while a new-format Digital Express Mini was launched in the quarter focusing on mobility and communication products and “being of a compact size, is eminently scalable across Tier 1 to Tier 3 cities.”
On its JV with Marks & Spencer, the company said it continued to grow robustly and Marks and Spencer enjoyed a year of record sales as well as new store openings.
The company said that given the macro environment challenges in the jewellery sector, Reliance Jewels continued to “focus on operational improvements in systems and processes that would result in building a robust platform for growth in the coming years.”
“We are excited about the fact this has been the first profitable year (for retail arm) with 30 per cent growth. But there is a lot of ground still to be covered,” RIL Chief Financial Officer Alok Agarwal told reporters here today.
“Based on what we have done, based on what we think we can do, 25-30 per cent compounded growth in terms of retail revenues over the next 2-3 years is a pretty safe assumption,” he added.

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Wal-Mart plans to open 50 wholesale stores in India over 4-5 years

Hong Kong – Wal-Mart Stores Inc plans to open 50 additional wholesale stores in India over the next 4-5 years, company spokesman Anthony Rose said on Tuesday.

The world’s largest retailer already runs 20 wholesale stores in India. The retailer will also launch wholesale e-commerce operations this summer in the country, Rose added.

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Coffee chain Starbucks expanding aggressively in India

Coffee chain Starbucks expanding aggressively in India

NEW DELHI: The world’s largest coffee chain Starbucks Coffee Co. is expanding aggressively in India even as its competitors, including global rivals such as Costa Coffee and Gloria Jean’s Coffees, are having a tough time in the country’s cafe market.

Tata Starbucks Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between the US coffee chain and Tata Global Beverages, added seven stores in the last one-and-half months alone, four in New Delhi, two Bangalore and one in Pune, taking the total number of stores in the country to 43 at present. Tata Starbucks alliance opened only one store in India in February and three in January.

Tata Starbucks, which entered India in October 2012, said at the time of the launch that it plans to invest $80 million to begin with to roll out dozens of Starbucks branded cafes in India.

Starbucks is eyeing a big slice of India’s $300 million cafe chains market that’s growing annually by 20% and is currently dominated by the local chain Cafe Coffee Day that operates more than 1,000 outlets nationwide.

Starbucks’ expansion is coming at a time when India’s cafe business is in the doldrums. Dubai-based Landmark Group is seeking to terminate its seven-year-old franchisee agreement with Australia’s Gloria Jean’s Coffees amid heavy losses due to high rentals and competition from rivals, a person aware of the development said.

Another global rival, UK’s Costa Coffee, may end its exclusive franchisee agreement with New Delhi-based Devyani International as the Indian firm is not ready to cough up more capital into a business that is yet to turn profitable after nine years of operations.

Also, Lavazza Spa has been looking for a buyer for Barista, the country’s oldest coffee chain that the Italian group acquired in 2007.

Industry watchers say that the business is becoming difficult to turn profitable even after years of operations.

Coffee through bars is a sit-in concept in India where consumers generally hang around such outlets for hours compared to the global phenomenon of grabbing coffee on the go from generally tiny outlets and kiosks.

Industry experts say that coffee chains in India must maintain elaborate and plush outlets – and not kiosks – to give Indian consumers what they are looking from a coffee chain even if the proposition turns out to be very expensive, which is making it difficult for many companies to stay in the business and hard to scale up.

But Starbucks is doing just that. The world’s largest coffee chain is positioning itself as an aspirational brand in this largely tea-drinking nation, and is going over the top with its stores, some of the plushest it’s opened anywhere in the world.

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Shiseido to launch ‘Za’ brand in India

NEW DELHI: Japanese personal care products maker Shiseido Co is foraying into the high-end skincare and makeup segment in India with its brand ‘Za’ and plans to sell products through 250 sales points across the country by the end of 2014.
“The ‘Za’ brand will be launched in the second quarter of the year,” Shiseido Corporate Executive Officer & Director of the Board Yu Okazawa told PTI.

Stressing on the importance of the market here, he said: “India is a strategic market for the company. Having been present since 2001, Shiseido aims to further strengthen its foothold with the entry of Za.”

At present, products under the Za brand are sold in 12 markets worldwide.

Sounding bullish on the long-term growth, he said: “We are fully confident that Za has high potential for success in the Indian market.”

The company has been studying the Indian market closely and there is a change in the Indian beauty market, he added.

“Today, various factors like higher disposable incomes, development of modern urban lifestyles and increase in consumer awareness have affected buyer behaviour across the country. As a result, we see a larger demand for international brands in the country,” Okazawa said.

On the company’s strategy for Za, he said it will be sold through 250 retail outlets, mostly shop-in-shops, by the end of 2014.

Okazawa said the firm’s flagship brand ‘Shiseido’ would continue to be handled through its local distributor Baccarose Perfumes & Beauty Products.

“Brand ‘Shiseido’ is focusing on building strong brand equity in very selected stores in luxury segment,” he said, adding that presently Shiseido products are available at over 30 point of sales.

Founded in 1872, Shiseido is a leading global cosmetic group with more than 100 brands in its family, including NARS, Bare Escentuals, and Beaute Prestige International (BPI).

It has an annual sales of over $7 billion with presence in 121 countries.

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10 best retail companies in India to work for in 2014

Research and consulting firm, Great Place To Work Institute and Retailers Association of India (RAI) came together to recognise India’s Top 10 Best Retail Companies To Work for in 2014. The companies were considered on the basis of five dimensions: credibility, respect and fairness, pride and camaraderie. By executing practices across areas such as inspiring, speaking, listening, developing, caring, thanking, hiring, celebrating and sharing, an organization can create and maintain a good workplace environment.

The Top 10 companies are:

LIFESTYLE INTERNATIONAL PVT. LTD.
TITAN COMPANY LIMITED
SHOPPERS STOP LIMITED
UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON INDIA
FUTURE RETAIL
METRO CASH & CARRY INDIA PVT. LTD.
MARKS AND SPENCER RELIANCE INDIA PVT. LTD.
PUMA SPORTS INDIA PVT. LTD.
JUBILANT FOODWORKS LTD.
LEVI STRAUSS (INDIA) PVT. LTD.

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Fossil plans to set up 25 stores in 5 years in India

Fossil plans to set up 25 stores in 5 years

Bangalore: Watches and accessories maker Fossil Inc. will open 20-25 stores under its namesake brand in malls in India over the next five years and will also start selling jewellery as it seeks to increase its presence in the country.
After Fossil India got approval to open fully owned stores in India in February 2013, the company opened its first outlet in Mumbai earlier this month. India allowed 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail in 2012.

“Currently, we’re focusing only on malls for the Fossil brand till we establish the brand to a certain level. High streets typically get dedicated traffic whereas in malls there’s a lot of brand exposure. There are some 400 malls in India out of which only a handful are relevant for our brand,” Nangia said.

Fossil, which sells watches mostly priced between Rs.5,000 and Rs.25,000, started operations in India in 2005. It sells its products through more than 500 stores, including Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle and Helios. For the year ended 31 March 2013, Fossil India reported a 60% increase in sales to Rs.95.6 crore. The Indian unit reported a profit of Rs.8.4 crore compared with a loss of Rs.6 crore in the previous year, according to documents available with the Registrar of Companies.
India’s watch market was worth Rs.5,000 crore in 2012, out of which organized retail accounts for 40%, according to a 2012 study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

Though Titan Co. Ltd owns the largest-selling watch brand with more than half the share of the organized market, it generates a majority of its sales from lower-priced products. While the availability of luxury watches such as Omega and Rolex is improving, they are still out of reach for a majority of Indians.
“There’s a big gap between the low-to-mid segment on the one side and luxury on the other side. That’s where the growth is going to be for us. We’re also introducing Fossil jewellery for the first time, but only in our stores,” Nangia said.

He said Fossil had benefited from the weaker rupee last year as the company, which makes some of its brands in India, held prices while its rivals were forced to raise prices because of a high quantity of imports.

Fossil will likely find its task cut out in the Indian market.

“Fossil will have to aggressively advertise and market themselves in terms of TV ads to get noticed in India because it’s a very cluttered market, and I don’t think they are doing that,” said Abneesh Roy, an analyst at Edelweiss Securities. And even though Titan is not that strong a brand in the over Rs.5,000 range in smaller cities and towns they are the preferred brand even in this price point because of their distribution strength and servicing ability.”
“However, in the large cities, Fossil is a well known international brand and has an advantage over Titan.”

Fossil is also looking to launch its e-commerce website in India—if the government allows FDI in e-commerce.

“We’re waiting for the FDI laws to change to launch our own e-commerce website. Not only as a selling medium but to also reach out to a wider customer base, do market research and to improve our customer connect,” Nangia said.

Mint reported on 16 March that some fashion and accessories brands are in discussions with e-commerce firms to reduce discounts on websites after wholesalers and brick-and-mortar retailers, the worst hit by the boom in online shopping, put pressure on brands.

Nangia said Fossil, which sells on Flipkart, Myntra and three other sites, too would take up the matter with its e-commerce partners.
“We’re going to talk to the sites to try and stop discounts. It’s fine to give discounts on older stock and when you’re trying to liquidate stock but it’s unfair give discounts on new products,” he said.

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Arvind Buys 49% in Calvin Klein India

Sanjay Lalbhai-controlled Arvind has finalised a deal to buy out 49% stake jointly held by the Murjani Group and the US-based private equity fund Matrix Partners in Calvin Klein India for close to 100 crore, said three persons close to the transaction.

The deal will help the denim major widen its ties with its existing joint venture partner American clothing giant Phillips-Van Heusen Corp for Tommy Hilfiger brand.

Phillips-Van Heusen Corp also owns Calvin Klein worldwide.

The negotiations, which started last year, culminated in a transaction five days ago and a formal announcement is expected soon, said one of the persons quoted above. Ambit Corporate Finance was the sole advisor to the deal. While a spokesperson for Arvind declined to comment, the head of Murjani Group Vijay Murjani and Matrix Partners did not respond to telephone calls and text messages. While the Murjani Group holds 25% in the joint venture, Matrix holds the rest 24%. The deal also signals Arvind Group’s founder Sanjay Lalbhai’s ambition to grow in the mid-premium segment of the apparel market by forging alliances with marque overseas brands.

It all started in 2003 when Arvind struck a joint venture with Murjani Group to sell Tommy Hilfiger in India. Though the worldwide ownership of Tommy Hilfiger moved to Phillips-Van Heusen, Arvind continued to be the Indian partner. Two years ago, Arvind acquired the business operations of British fashion retailer Debenhams, Next and American lifestyle brand Nautica in India from Ramesh-Tainwala-led Planet Retail.

Though the move was an attempt to boost market share in kidswear, womenswear and sportsware segments, the economic downturn triggered a sharp fall in customer purchases, leaving some retail brands struggling. Experts feel that these alliances allowed Arvind to consolidate brands under a single umbrella and offer a one-stop platform for aspirational customers.

“These joint ventures not only bring marque brands under a single platform, but also help Arvind to negotiate better for retail space. Instead of negotiating for a single brand, the company can now look at having more brands in a retail mall by paying lesser rents,” said Harminder Sahani, founder and managing director, Wazir Advisors, a consultancy firm for retail and lifestyle companies.

Despite the fallout of recession, the company’s brands business grew by 25% in the last nine-month period to 1,412 crore. The company’s profit before tax and interest from brands business grew by 17% to 34.7 crore in the last nine months. The company’s brands include Excalibur, Flying Machine, Colt and Newport.

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LVMH owned Sephora to open 7 stores in India this year

LVMH owned Sephora to open 7 stores in India this year

NEW DELHI: Louis Vuitton owned Sephora is planning to open 7 stores in India by the end of this year; Afif Haddar, General manager, South East Asia for Sephora, told ETRetail.com. When queried on the choice of cities for expansion, Haddar said Delhi would continue to be of prime focus for Sephora in India. The other cities on radar for expansion for this world’s beauty behemoth are Pune and Hyderabad.

Sephora is a French-based beauty retailer founded in 1970, and specialises in beauty cosmetics, fragrances and personal care.The French luxury goods conglomerate Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMH) acquired Sephora in the year 1999 and operates 1300 stores in 27 countries worldwide.

Currently, Sephora operates two store in India – both of them present in Delhi. The second store recently opened at the DLF Promenade mall.

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Apple wants to open own stores in India

Apple Inc, the maker of iPhones and iPads, has asked the government to relax the local sourcing clause in its policy on foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail. Though government officials seem to have ruled this out for now, the proposal has not yet been closed.

The company’s senior management executives recently met officials in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which governs the country’s FDI policy, and sought an exception to be made for the technology giant.

“They (Apple) have clearly told us that they cannot adhere to the sourcing norms as they hardly use any hardware for their products. We have also told them that while the government is keen on investments, it cannot make exceptions. However, we can analyse a company’s needs on a case by case basis,” a senior DIPP official told Business Standard.

The official added that the company was “keen to invest in India, buoyed by the demand for its products, which is rising every year”.

DIPP is internally examining what methodology it can work out in this case, where a firm keen to invest in India does minimal sourcing.

The Cupertino, US-based company has since 2006 been keen to enter India by setting up wholly-owned retail stores. Its hope of opening its own stores across the country were renewed when the government in January 2012 allowed 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail.

Apple is weighing various options to establish its stores in India. As part of this, it has asked the government to relax the sourcing norms. The company has told DIPP its iPhones and iPads hardly have any hardware content, while its laptops are assembled products.

According to the present FDI policy on single-brand retail, for proposals involving foreign equity in excess of 51 per cent, it is necessary for the company to source 30 per cent of its contents from the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises. In the first instance, this procurement requirement has to be met as an average of five years’ total value of goods purchased from April 1 of the year during which the first tranche of FDI is brought in. Thereafter, it is to be met on an annual basis.

At present, Apple Inc’s 45 ‘Apple Premium Resellers’ in India are run under the franchisee model with partners.

Reliance Retail, one such partner, operates 22 stores known by the name of iStores. Redington India is another partner. Apple also sells its products through multi-brand electronic stores like Reliance Digital and Croma. Globally, Apple Inc operates more than 360 wholly-owned stores in 12 countries. Currently, Apple consumers in India face difficulties in after-sales service.

As a result of this, the company’s market share remains a low two-three per cent. Besides, pricing also becomes an issue, as Apple products are highly priced in this market.

Besides, the company has only one registered office, in Bangalore. According to the International Data Corporation, Samsung, with a 33 per cent market share, is the clear leader in India’s smartphones category. It is followed by Micromax (17 per cent) and Karbonn (11 per cent).

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Amazon.in launches India’s largest selection for Video Games, Music and Luggage

Amazon.in launches India’s largest selection for Video Games, Music and Luggage

MUMBAI: Amazon.in today announced the launch of three new stores: Video Games, Music and Luggage & Bagson its marketplace, http://www.amazon.in. With the launch of these three new stores, Amazon.in now has a wide selection across 18 product categories comprising of over 900,000 products, more than 10 million books and over two million eBooks. All three stores today offer India’slargest selection with thousands of products eligible for Amazon’s guaranteed next-day delivery service in several cities.

“We are very pleased to offer our customers the largest selection of productsin the country in all of the three categories that we launched today. This is a reiteration of our commitment to relentlessly focus on building a place that customers in India can trust to find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online ,” said Amit Agarwal, VP and Country Manager for Amazon India.

“We are also very excited to have been the partner of choice for both Sony DADCand Wildcraft and offer our customers a unique opportunity to be the first to own or gift the popular International catalogues of Warner Music and Wildcraft’s Back-To-School collection,” he added.

Video Games store- the largest gaming products store in India on Amazon.in Amazon.in has launched its dedicatedVideo Games store with the largest selection in India consisting of more than 2600gaming products across gaming consoles& accessories and 2000+ games. Some of the bestselling titles available on the store are Grand Theft Auto 5, FIFA 14, and the latest gaming console – PlayStation 4.Consumers can purchase products from leading console brands such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, as well as Gaming Studios such as Electronic Arts, Rockstar, Ubisoft and more on Amazon.in.

Music store on Amazon.in –the largest store in India for physical music products Amazon.in’s new onlineMusic storehas the largest collection of physical music products across both online and offline stores in India, offering more than 400,000 albums from all leading national and international labels.

Coinciding with the launch of the music store, Sony DADC, the physical licensee to legendary record label, Warner Music Group, has made available Warner Music Group’s international music catalogue on Amazon.inThe Warner Music repertoire is being re-launched in India after a hiatus of 8 monthsby Sony DADC and will be exclusively available on Amazon.in till 11thFebruary 2014. Consumers in India can now buy the most iconic albums and special box-sets of legends such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors & Pandit Ravi Shankar. Buyers would also have ready access to CDs from the most popular International bands in India including Iron Maiden, Linkin Park, Michael Learns to Rock & Coldplay; to current sensations such as Bruno Mars, David Guetta, Deadmou5 & Skrillex.

Amazon.in’s intuitive search & browse experiencewill help customers easily discover titles from among Original Sound Tracks (OSTs), Concert and song videos, Karaokes and Compilations. Consumers can also search via Genre (Film music, Classical, Devotional, Instrumental, Pop, Rock) and formats (Audio CD, MP3, Vinyl), to find their favoritealbums and make purchases.

Luggage & Bags storeon Amazon.in Indian customers can now shop for luggage &bags in over 3500 styles spanning more than 50 brands, both Indian and international on Amazon.in’s new Luggage & Bags store. The store carries something for all ages, across price ranges and storage and travel needs. Travel enthusiasts can find products such as backpacks, messenger bags duffels, carry-ons, accessories and other luggage items across various sizes and colors. In addition, the store also offers the advantage of having access to bags in niche categories like sports & outdoors. Customers can find popular brands such as Samsonite, American Tourister, VIP, Skybags, Wenger, Victorinox,Wildcraft,Fastrack, Travel Blue and Rhysetta as well as some really differentiated names like Camelback, High Sierra, and many more.

Amazon.in has worked with key brands, reputed sellers and in-house fashion editors to add interesting features like AmazonExclusive Styles, Fashion Trend stores and Frequent Flyer Collection ensuring that discovery from this vast collection is fun. Ability to walk through and select from the vast selection based on various parameters such as color and outer material, would help customers buy the right travel gear for themselves.

Sellers for the three categories include GamesThe Shop, Planet M, Chroma Retail, Rhythm House, Pritam Music, Smart Buy Movies,WALLETSNBAGS, Godaam E-Commerceand TORTOISE among others.

Customers across several cities in India can also avail guaranteed next-day delivery at Rs. 99 per order on more than 135,000 items fulfilled by Amazon.

Customers on http://www.amazon.in can shop with ease and confidence from over 900,000products, over 10 million books and over 2 million eBooks across 18 categories ranging from Books, Movies and TV shows; Kindle Devices, Tablets and eBooks; Computers & Accessories; Mobiles & Accessories; Cameras & Photography; Portable Media Players; TV & Home Entertainment; Toys & Games; Baby Products; Personal Care Appliances; Health Care Devices; Watches; Fashion Jewellery; Home and Kitchen; Beauty Products; Video Games; Music and Luggage & Bags.

All customers benefit from a safe and secure ordering experience, convenient electronic payments, no-risk hassle-free returns policy, Amazon’s 24×7 customer service support, and a globally recognized and comprehensive 100% purchase protection provided by Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee.Furthermore, over 135000 plus products are available for next day delivery across eligible pin codes in several cities on Amazon.in

Customers can also now shop on Amazon.in through its latest mobile shopping apps for iPhones, iPads and Android phones. They can use these apps to conveniently shop on the go just as easily as they do on their PC; they can browse & search for their favorite products, view recommendations & customer reviews, add to wish lists & cart and complete the purchase using all of the payment options available on the site and track the status of their orders. The Amazon mobile shopping App is available as a free download through Amazon Appstore: http://www.amazon.in/apps

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Lenskart plans 100 retail stores across India

Online retailer Lenskart will set up 100 retail stores across the country over the next 2 years as it aims to strengthen offline presence and compete with local players in the Rs 10,000-crore Indian eyewear market.

Lenskart, which offers prescription-based and fashion eyewear, currently has seven stores in places like Chandigarh, Pune, Agartala and Goa under the franchise model.

“These stores display a large range of eyewear. Customers can choose from them or those available on the website and place order online from the store, helping us expand our brand not just online but offline as well,” Lenskart.Com CEO and founder Peyush Bansal told PTI.

He further said the move will help tap the Indian eyewear market, which gets about 80 per cent of revenues from prescription-based glasses.

“Fashion eyewear is still a small category. About 80 per cent of the sales are still for vision correction and many people are still not comfortable placing orders online for their spectacles because either they don’t know their power or have doubts about how the pair of eyeglasses would look on their face,” he said.

Like any other store, customers can walk in with their prescription, choose frames and the order is placed online by the store attendant, he added.

The domestic eyewear market is dominated by local players with few organised retail chains like Lawrence and Mayo, Dayal Opticals and Titan Eye Plus.

Lenskart has also started a home eye check-up programme, under which the company sends a check-up van to the customer’s premises. Equipped with relevant equipment, the van also has certified optometrists for eye examination.

At present, the service is operational in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

“Over the next six months, we will cover 20 more cities,” Bansal said.

He added that the company is planning to invest around Rs 25 crore a year towards its expansion programme.

As e-Commerce business is burgeoning in the country, players are looking at connecting with customers not just online but offline as well.

It reinforces the trust factor with the physical feel of products along with the convenience of access to a larger inventory online, Bansal said.

“Spectacles are experiential products, and our focus on providing quality products at affordable prices has helped us gain customer confidence. Today, customers buy power glasses, lenses and sunglasses online on our platform,” he added.

The company, which has received USD 14 million in funding so far, declined to divulge its revenue details.

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Costa Coffee, has set up shop in Kochi.

Costa Coffee keen on expansion

After Chennai and Bangalore in South India, Costa Coffee, one of the largest retail coffee chains in the world, has set up shop in Kochi.

The British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Bharat Joshi, opened the Kochi outlet at Lulu Mall. Santosh Unni, CEO, Costa Coffee-India, said the outlet would serve 25 varieties of coffee and flavoured drinks.

Judd Williams, a senior Costa Coffee official, said, “We plan to continue our expansion strategy and build a pan-India presence to make Costa the first choice for coffee amongst the consumers.”

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Indian retail market set to touch $865 billion by 2023

Foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational food processing companies has shot up to $2.14 billion in the country between April and October 2013, and continues to increase significantly.

The Indian retail market, currently estimated at $490 billion, is project to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 6 per cent to reach $865 billion by 2023.

The opportunities in food and grocery retail in India are immense, given that it constitutes about 69 per cent of India’s total retail market, according to panel members at the seventh Food and Grocery Forum India.

Head honchos of top food and grocery brands spoke on the opportunities that lay ahead for the growth of modern retail. In a session anchored by Shivnath Thukhral, Group President of Essar Group, retail CEOs, experts and consultants shared their insights on the business of food production in the country and some consumption patterns.

The Government on FDI in food processing:

Union Ministry for Food Processing Joint Secretary J.P. Meena said the food processing sector is growing annually at 7.2 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent in agriculture for the last five years, ending 2013.

Growing at a faster rate than the agriculture sector, more and more agriculture produce is getting processed, he said, adding that investment in the food processing sector has been increasing annually at 21.66 per cent.

Foreign direct investment has also been increasing significantly at the rate of average inflow of $117 million for 11 years ending 2011-12. In 2012-13, it was $401 million, the Minister said. He added that exports were increasing at the rate of 20.4 per cent per annum.

Heads of various food and grocery brands:

“Consumers shopping at modern trade have grown from 54 per cent last year to the current 68 per cent, driven by increasing consumption, comfortable shopping experience, new categories, wide variety of brands under a single roof and attractive prices”, said Devendra Chawla, CEO of Food Bazaar.

He noted that a whopping 55 per cent of the modern trade shoppers actively seek promotional deals, 35 per cent of them make bulk purchases, of which 30 per cent are male customers.

Jamshed Daboo, CEO of Trent Hypermarkets, added that the country is moving at a fairly fast pace and that consumers are creating their own opportunities and are becoming exposed to information. The challenge, he noted, lies in serving this change.

While Mark Ashman, CEO of Hypercity, added that consumer demand had seen the growth of Hypercity to the current 15 hypermarkets pan India, since operations started in 2006.

Ajay Kaul, CEO of Domino’s added that a good 50 per cent of the market continued to sit on the sidelines, and that there was a huge opportunity in the migration of traditional to modern trade.

Nestle’s Vice President, Sales of Organised Trade, A.S. Chadha, said mass media has a big role in bringing the rural market to the center-stage, which is setting the actual consumer aspiration. “The key element to be focused on is the supply chain and infrastructure in the Tier-II cities. The potential of these cities can be tapped only by facilitating supply chain and logistics,” he added.

Sharing Chadha’s view, Sumit Chanda, Chief Merchandising Officer of Aditya Birla Retail, said, “Before we talk about consumer engagement, we need to measure consumer’s adaptability and spending power in the Tier II cities. Around 5-6 years ago, television soaps captured the lifestyle of the metros, whereas today all the soaps are showcasing Tier-II and Tier-III cities. This proves that there is a huge aspiration level among the people in these cities which the retailer has yet to tap.”

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Luxury brand Kiton plans two stores in India

NEW DELHI: Italian luxury bespoke clothing company Kiton plans to open at least two exclusive stores in India to tap the country’s booming market for super expensive menswear, a top executive said.

Kiton, which entered the Indian garment market last year through a master franchisee deal with Mumbai-based Regalia Luxury Clothing, is also considering incorporating a joint venture with a local partner. “We soon plan to open mono-brand stores in India as it is a great market to tap into,” Antonio De Matteis, CEO at Kiton, told ET, adding that, for long, rich Indians have shopped for the brand outside the country.

Kiton makes made-to-measure suits, jackets and shirts for Indian consumers. The cost of customised Kiton suits ranges from about.`3 lakh to as much as .`25 lakh. Pratik Dalmia, founder of Regalia Luxury, said the brand will target 250 individuals to begin with. “These people are rich, looking for quality suits and already have exposure to the brand,” Dalmia said. He said besides made-tomeasure, the company plans to launch retail stores.

“We are looking at a few spaces in Delhi and Mumbai to open at least two stores by the end of this year or 2015,” Dalmia said. “Talks are also on to convert the partnership into a joint venture,” he said. Global sales at Kiton rose 10% in 2013 over the previous year to 105 million (.`882 crore). The brand has 45 exclusive stores around the world. “Despite the recession, the brand’s sales have grown drastically in the last 4-5 years,” De Matteis said.

Founded in 1968, Kiton garments are made at the company’s factory in Naples, Italy. According to consultancy firm Technopak, the size of the luxury menswear market in India is close to .`150 crore a year. “As Indian economy moves up and becomes more international, Indian businessmen and senior executives have started spending more than ever on their business wardrobe,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman at Technopak.

Specialised menswear brands available in India include Burberry, Versace, Gucci, Armani and Canali. Singhal said besides office wear, the wedding market in India offers a good potential to these brands. “Even the brands are pushing themselves in the market and also taking initiatives like India-inspired designs, for example the Canali Bandgala jacket,” he said.

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Global retailer Wal-Mart sets up new company in India

New Delhi: Global retail giant Wal-Mart has registered a new company in India as it prepares to enter the country’s lucrative multi-brand retail market with a new partner.

The American retail major and Bharti Enterprises decided to part ways in October last year, bringing an end to their six-year long partnership.

The retailer has registered a new company called ‘Wal-Mart India Private Ltd’ in the country, according to the data available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

According to the information, the new entity was registered on January 15, 2014.

After parting ways with Bharti group in October last year, Wal-Mart had said it was studying the feasibility of India’s FDI policy in multi-brand retail before finalizing plans to enter the segment.

The retailer and Bharti Enterprises had last year decided to independently own and operate separate business formats in the country. Wal-Mart is looking for a partner in India.

In December 2013, Wal-Mart received the green signal from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to purchase Bharti group’s almost 50 per cent stake in their Indian joint venture for wholesale stores business.

The joint venture — Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd – was set up to operate wholesale stores under the Best Price Modern Wholesale brand. It was not catering directly to retail consumers in the country.

Wal-Mart has been lobbying with American lawmakers since 2008 for facilitating its entry into the Indian market, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed by the company in the US.

A probe, ordered by the Indian government in December 2012, into lobbying activities undertaken by Wal-Mart to enter Indian retail market remained inconclusive.

The one-man inquiry panel, in its report tabled in the Rajya Sabha last month, could not “conclude in the absence ofany material evidence available on record up till now, that Wal-Mart indulged in any lobbying/bribery to Indian officials”.

Lobbying is a legal activity in the US, but all the companies and their registered lobbyists need to file quarterly disclosure reports with the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In its Action Taken Report on Wal-Mart probe, the government had said it would initiate fresh action against Wal-Mart if an ongoing ‘foreign corrupt practices’ probe by US authorities reveals any violation in India by the retail giant.

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