Slow growth in high-end luxury retail space has dampened crystalware company Swarovski AG’s expansion plans in India.
The Austrian company, which plans to widen its presence to 30 exclusive stores spread over 12 cities by 2009, is unlikely to open at least three of the four stores it had targeted for 2007.
“We were planning two outlets in Delhi and one each in Kolkata and Hyderabad, in the calendar year 2007,” said Shiv Kumar, country manager, consumer goods business, Swarovski India. “However, the Delhi development process has been thwarted” by the municipal authorities’ drive to seal commercial establishments in residential areas, which caught several retailers off guard.
The Hyderabad project got delayed after the developers failed to get the space ready in time, Kumar said. There is still some hope that a store may be opened in Kolkata.
While it is missing the 2007 target, the company is hopeful that it may make up for the delays by opening 10 stores in 2008.
Swarovski currently has stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, with plans to open new stores in Hyderabad, Pune, Coimbatore and Chandigarh.
Apart from its exclusive stores, set up in retail partnership with local entrepreneurs, Swarovski has a space in several multi-brand stores, which gives it a total of 34 points of sale. A good part of this business is in partnership with retail giant Shopper’s Shop.
But the crystal maker is gearing for greater presence through its own brand stores, counting 30 of them among the 50-55 points of sale it proposes to have in placeby 2009.