Mumbai: S Kumars Nationwide Ltd (SKNL) plans to invest Rs70-75 crore to set up outlets in association with 10-12 international luxury brands. “We are in talks with Italian, French and American luxury and super premium brands to launch lifestyle accessories, shoes, crystals and apparel in exclusive monobrand stores for each partner. These brands will be signed under a licensing/franchisee partnership but our arrangements will be exclusive in India,” said Nitin Kasliwal, vice chairman and managing director, SKNL.
SKNL already has agreements with Stephens Brothers in the super-premium segment and with luxury menswear brand Dunhill and women’s fashion and accessories brand Escada. “We believe luxury retail will boom in India in about four-six years and we want to position ourselves to take advantage of this by leveraging our money, wherewithal and experience in this business which has a long gestation period,” said Kasliwal.
According to The Knowledge Company, an arm of management consulting firm Technopak in New Delhi, the market for luxury goods is potentially worth Rs65,000 crore, and expected to grow 20% a year.
S Kumars is the latest to try and tap into that market. In November 2006, Italy’s Grotto SpA and Raymond Ltd joined hands to bring in apparel and accessories brand GAS. Last February, Gucci announced its entry through a tie-up with the US-based Murjani Group.
Pantaloon Retail India Ltd plans to convert Crossroads, a Mumbai mall it recently acquired, into a luxury mall while Shoppers’ Stop plans luxury stores christened Verdi which will retail around 40 foreign premium brands.