Italy’s luxury fashion brand Roberto Cavalli, British luxury goods brand Dunhill, Brands for Less from Dubai and Australia’s The Coffee Club are among international brands that are in talks to enter India next year, three people aware of the matter said.
These brands are in discussions for signing up local partners and to decide on the location to open stores, they said. They will most likely enter a metro city first before expanding operations.
The companies did not respond till press time on Tuesday to emails seeking comment.
More than a dozen international brands, including Pret A Manger, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, have already rushed in over the last few months, as consumption of luxury brands increased with the economy reopening after the Covid-induced lockdowns. Last week, Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail entered into a partnership with Galeries Lafayette to open luxury department stores and a dedicated ecommerce platform in India.
“Brands have realised the potential India offers. The growing population of the aspirational class is making the country one of the biggest consumers of luxury goods,” said Shriram PM Monga, who cofounded retail consultancy firm SRED.
“After the loss that businesses went through during Covid, brands including luxury names have come back aggressively. In the last one year, many brands have initiated discussion for a standalone store in Delhi or Mumbai.”
According to property consultants, the pace of expansion of international brands in India slowed between April 2020 and October 2021 amid the Covid pandemic. However, with a rise in retail sales and positive customer sentiment, these brands have now begun scouting for bigger spaces.
“Roberto Cavalli and Dunhill were in India but left a few years ago. They are now making a comeback, while Dubai’s Brand for Less is also scouting for space and a franchise partner,” said Gaurav Marya, chairman of Franchise India, adding: “The franchise model will help international brands to expand in the country.”
In January, Jubilant Foodworks launched US fried chicken brand Popeyes in India.
In March, Canadian coffee brand Tim Hortons said it would enter the country. Reliance Brands had said it would partner with global fresh food and organic coffee chain Pret A Manger to launch and build the brand here. The current focus of luxury brands on mono-brand boutiques is largely restricted to New Delhi and Mumbai, and selectively in Bengaluru and Kolkata.