Orient Craft Ltd, an apparel export firm, will bring an international premium children’s wear brand to the Indian market next year, as part of its expansion and to hedge against any loss of export orders because of an appreciating rupee.
It will also bring a mass denim wear brand and a luxury brand to India.
Orient, which has a Rs745 crore export manufacturing business, supplies to international brands such as Gap, Marks & Spencer, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs.
The company kicked off its retail foray by launching stores of German premium fashion retailer S Oliver, in Mumbai and New Delhi last week. Orient plans to have 77 S Oliver stores over the next four years.
According to the company, the deal has also resulted in a manufacturing contract for its export arm.
“Retail is the last mile for us,” Orient chairman and managing director Sudhir Dhingra said. “And this is the right time to be in retail.”
He did not give the names of the other international retailers the company is seeking to partner with. Over the next four years, Orient expects 30% of its revenues to come from retail operations.
Although Orient is a 29-year-old company, it has just entered the domestic retail market. It also plans to create its own retail brand for the domestic market.
House of Pearl, another export house, has also entered into a joint venture with European brand Lerros. Both export houses have been hit as the rupee’s 13% appreciation against the dollar this year has made the country’s exports more expensive.
However, Orient executives said the retail venture has been in the works for the last two years and is not a hedge against export cuts.