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Shoppers' gears up for luxury retail push

By Raghavendra Kamath in Mumbai
December 20, 2006 09:09 IST
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Retail major Shoppers' Stop, part of the K Raheja Corp, is consolidating its luxury retail business by roping in over 40 global brands and has lined up Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) worth of investments for this purpose.

Industry sources said the company has hired an expatriate to head the new business. The retail major is in talks with brands across the globe such as Louis Vitton, Gucci, YSL, Zegna, Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc and Christian Dior, Moschino, Paul Smith, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Stuart Weitzman, La Perla, Ralph Lauren, Diesel and Paciotti for the expansion of its operations in the luxury retail space.

When asked about the investment and the expat heading the business, Shoppers' Stop CEO Govind Shrikhande neither confirmed nor denied the development.

The company's luxury retailing is believed to be spread between 120,000 sq ft and 150,000 sq ft. Sources added the first of the luxury stores will be opened in Delhi and will be followed by stores in Bangalore and in Mumbai.

The company has already bagged the duty-free retail contract in a joint venture with Nuance Group at Bangalore International Airport.

It is believed to have signed property deals in Delhi and Mumbai and is negotiating a property deal at UB City in Bangalore with the UB group and the Prestige group.

The top brass of Shoppers' Stop has been making trips to Europe to get exclusive rights for the luxury brands for the last five months and has been successful. "Most of the brands, barring a few, have already given mandate to Shoppers' Stop", sources added.

Incidentally, the company has such tie-ups with brands, such as MAC, Estee Lauder, Mother Care and GANT.

The luxury retailing in the country is only 1 per cent of the total retail business and only 20 per cent of it comes from the organised sector.

With the boom in the economy, the luxury retail market is expected to grow by 50 per cent every year for the next 10 years. Shoppers' Stop is the lone retailer in the country to be a member of the International Group of Department Stores.
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Raghavendra Kamath in Mumbai
Source: source

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