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Armani-Ambani retail all set to walk the ramp

The Armani-Ambani partnership in Indian retail is close to being finalised. Global fashion and luxury guru — Georgio Armani — is understood to be soon planning his next visit to the country to tie up the final details. Armani’s top team has been frequent visitors in the recent past to the country to hold several rounds of talks with the Ambani group, sources said.

A Reliance spokesperson declined to comment on the development.

Sources say that Reliance Industries will be the local franchisee for the Armani range to be sold through exclusive boutique-like outlets. In fact, Armani may be among the few international brands in Reliance Retail’s luxury brands strategy. Sources said that the talks focused on the marketing strategy and the products to be sold in India.

Initially, only two of its most popular fashion lines; the flagship Giorgio Armani and the peppy Emporio Armani; which targets young professionals, will be launched in India.

Headquartered in Milan, Armani is a billion dollar plus global fashion empire straddling clothes, perfumes, watches and myriad accessories.

Reliance’s retail initiative proposes to tap consumers both at the top and bottom-end of the market spectrum. While the company has been aggressively putting its back-end supply chain in place before the roll-out of its outlets next month, a separate team has been sent abroad to scout for partnerships with some of the top luxury brands across European markets, sources said

The Armani Group is one of the leading fashion and luxury goods groups in the world with 4,800 direct employees and 13 factories. It designs, manufactures, distributes and retails fashion and lifestyle products including apparel, accessories, eyewear, watches, jewellery, home interiors, fragrances and cosmetics under a range of brand names: Giorgio Armani Priv, Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ Armani Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Armani Junior and Baby and Armani Casa.

Former Titan COO, Bijou Kurien, is likely to lead Reliance’s luxury business. Sources say that Reliance is also in talks with another marquee name — Manolo Blahnik. KSA-Technopak estimates the Indian luxury market at Rs 2,000 crore and growing. Many in the high net worth individual (HNI) segment, which till a few years ago spent outside the country, today prefers spending within the country. With its burgeoning HNI population, the Indian market for luxury goods is estimated to touch $452 million in the coming years.


(The Economic Times)

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