Tommy to accelerate in India

US fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger plans to open 500 stores in India over the next five years.

Tommy Hilfiger and India’s Arvind Limited have formed a 50:50 joint venture called Tommy Hilfiger Arvind Fashion which would see opening of company-owned stores and significant number of franchise stores. With a current network of 58 franchise stores and more than 60 shops-in-shops, the expansion would take its number of stores to 631 by 2017.

“Engaging in retail operations directly would enable the applicant company to set up retail stores in locations all over the country including in those which at present are found commercially unfeasible by our franchisee partners,” the company said in its application to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Last year, Tommy Hilfiger acquired a direct interest in its business in India through buyout of the Murjani Group’s license for the Tommy Hilfiger trademarks in India and the acquisition of its 50 per cent interest in Arvind Murjani Brands.

Arvind Murjani Brands has been the apparel sublicensee of the Tommy Hilfiger brand since its introduction in the Indian market in 2003. Arvind Limited is the other partner in Arvind Murjani Brands. The joint venture Arvind Murjani Brands was later renamed Tommy Hilfiger Arvind Fashion.

Tommy Hilfiger has been experiencing strong performance in India since it entered the country. For the fiscal year ending in March 2011, it gained a total sales of Rs 80 crore (around US$18 million) and is said to have grown four times for the fiscal year ended March 2012.

“It has stayed away from much discounting and created a loyal following across metro cities. But given their premium positioning it remains to be seen if there is a market for an additional 500 stores,” said Arun Sirdeshmukh, co-founder of portal Fashionara and former CEO of Reliance Trends.

Tommy Hilfiger is owned and marketed by PVH Corporation which also owns brands such as Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Arrow and Izod.


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