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India stars prominently in LVMH expansion plans

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Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), with a portfolio of such luxury brands as Fendi, Christian Dior, TAG Heuer and Dom Perignon, has identified India as key to its expansion. The group, planning to introduce more of its brands in the country, is in talks with three leading domestic companies for partnerships. There is talk also of setting up specialty malls in the key metros including Mumbai and Delhi.

According to retail consultancy Technopak, the potential size of the luxury retail market in India can be estimated at Rs 65,000 crore. The report also informs that the single-most important reason for the luxury market not flourishing in India was the “lack of luxury retail environments”.

Ravi Thakran, group director for India, has said, “The luxury retail environment here exists only in micro-markets such as in five-star hotels. We are serious about widening this environment to luxury malls. DFS is our international retail concept, which covers our entire mall presence as this was done in Hong Kong and Singapore. The sizes of these malls range from 1 lakh square feet to 2.5 lakh square feet, and typically have 30-50 boutiques and separate floors for perfume, jewellery and watches.”

It is believed DLF is in talks with LVMH to build such malls and also give out space to LVMH brands in Emporium, the luxury mall currently under construction in New Delhi.

LVMH will increase its India investments by more than 100 per cent this year. “We will have to maintain the momentum of investment for the next four to five years. For this, we will have to pump in millions of dollars into the country,” Thakran said.

Currently, Christian Dior operates as a franchise in New Delhi. In 2006, Fendi and Louis Vuitton had received government approval to enter the country with 51-per-cent foreign direct investment.

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