Armani takes homewares to India

Versace’s home furnishing store in Delhi will soon have a rival: Armani Casa, a high-end home collection by Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani, is likely to hit India within a year.

According to the group’s senior executive, the iconic brand is in deal talks with local partners for its plan to open high-end homeware and furnishings retail stores in the country. The luxury group is unlikely to choose the same partner as in its fashion business joint venture DLF Retail for Armani Casa, preferring a company with more homewares experience. 

“We have done very well with our fashion line and the potential of our home products should be huge looking at the rising demand for luxury here,” said Fabrice Gouffran, director, Armani Casa.

On India’s new policy on foreign direct investment for single brand retail, Gouffran said: “We think a local partner may be important to set up our business here as you need local knowledge in a market like India.”

Armani was supposed to enter India’s homewares market in 2008, but did not pursue it for unspecified reasons.

Armani Casa is in India working on the interior design for World One, a residential skyscraper in Mumbai owned by real estate developer Lodha Group.

Armani and Versace will be competing with domestic players in a booming Indian homewares market which is estimated to be growing annually at 10 to 12 per cent.

“The high-end, luxury segment of the market is pretty much under penetrated and the entry of an international brand will only help to grow the space. Indian consumers have increased spends on home decor and are looking for options,” said Neelesh Hundekari, principal at consulting firm AT Kearney.

Armani Casa’s collection which includes lamps, furniture, dining essentials, linens is available in 67 stores spread across 45 countries.

In 2010, Armani Casa reported 10 per cent business growth which it said was largely contributed by Asian market especially China where it has 10 stores.



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