DS Group's luxury arm to invest up to 200 cr to expand portfolio

The group also has brands such as Swiss luxury chocolate Läderach, childrenswear store Les Petis, premium grocery and retail store Le Marche and French patisserie company L’opera.
The group also has brands such as Swiss luxury chocolate Läderach, childrenswear store Les Petis, premium grocery and retail store Le Marche and French patisserie company L’opera.

Summary

  • The company has so far focused on luxury menswear brands, but its next set of developments will focus on women’s luxury wear

New Delhi: DS Luxury, a subsidiary of DS Group, plans to invest up to 200 crore in the coming years to introduce more luxury brands to the Indian market. 

Currently, the company runs menswear brands such as Berluti, Tom Ford, Brioni and Brunello Cucinelli in luxury malls across the capital.

Ritesh Kumar, the company’s promoter, in an interview, told Mint that India’s luxury market is entering a crucial phase and is expected to witness rapid growth in the next decade. The earmarked spending will be directed towards bringing newer brands into the country, with more focus on brands in the luxury womenswear side, for which some deals are currently being inked, he said. Last week, the tobacco-to-FMCG company announced the launch of its first Brioni store in India in Delhi’s The Chanakya.

“Global luxury markets, till now, had considered India to be a very small, one- or two-store market, but this is where things will change now. Luxury houses must understand that the Indian market has evolved and there is now a huge potential, especially if they adapt to the local scenarios, such as being flexible to having more high street stores, make more locally appreciated products and localize their marketing," he said.

DS Group’s primary interests are in FMCG and tobacco, but it also has a large retail and growing hospitality division.

The company has so far focused on luxury menswear brands, but its next set of developments will focus on women’s luxury wear as well as other formats of luxury retail, to possibly include multi-brand outlets.

The company first brought Tom Ford to India in 2010. In 2021, it got the chance to acquire the business of an existing luxury player that was looking for an exit from brands such as Berluti and Brunello Cucinelli. Berluti, an LVMH-owned company, he said, has done exceptional business for the group as well.

Typically, luxury companies that come to India choose to enter the market either through a master franchise agreement with a local partner or a joint venture. “Business flipped post covid. As far as luxury and premium products go, massive growth is projected in the market for the next 5-10 years. A large number of brands are looking to come to India now like never before. The existing luxury supply in malls can only do a certain volume of business. There could also be potential in creating other formats, such as multi-brand luxury outlets," he said.

The group also has brands such as Swiss luxury chocolate Läderach, childrenswear store Les Petis, premium grocery and retail store Le Marche and French patisserie company L’opera. Luxury food is another segment, Kumar said the company will heavily develop under the luxury division.

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