Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani have finally opened shop in Mumbai. On Monday (Oct 13), the two stores were launched at the Emporio Mall in Delhi. According to an article in DNR, the stores are managed through a joint venture between Armani and real estate firm retail arm, DLF Retail Brands Pvt. Ltd.
John Hooks, commercial and marketing director of the Armani Group, said the company is "playing it fairly carefully" as the country is developing slowly. "We need to be in [Mumbai], and we need to find the right location," said Hooks, noting that real estate space has been one of the main issues preventing an expansion in India.
"DLF has got some big plans for malls in Mumbai, and we are also tempted by Bangalore," said Hooks, noting that he had seen some locations there, but eventually chose not to take them. "We need to get to know the country, the market and the consumers," said Hooks. "We have no preconceptions."
Earlier this year, Cristiana Ruella, director of general affairs at Dolce & Gabbana, said the company had signed an agreement with DLF Group to secure spaces in the Emporio mall for that company's first boutiques in India. Salvatore Ferragamo SpA also said it plans to open 10 stores in India by 2013 — including three this year — after launching a joint venture with DLF. This year’s units are slated for New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. Ferragamo opened its first own-branded Indian store in 2006 at the Grand Hyatt Plaza Hotel in Mumbai. Gucci is planning its third Indian location at the Emporio mall this year.
Diesel in 2009
Meanwhile, Diesel is also looking to expand its business in the east and plans to enter India in spring 2009. To do so, the Italian apparel company has formed a joint venture with Reliance Brands Ltd., controlled by Reliance Industries Ltd. Diesel will hold a 51 per cent stake in the partnership. Stores will initially open in Mumbai and Delhi, followed by Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.