Many premium brands from Europe are ready to land in South City Mall, Kolkata, right before the puja shopping fever grips the city. Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Only and Pieces, four top-notch European apparel brands under Danish retail giant Bestseller, will open their doors at the Prince Anwar Shah Road shop-eat-hangout address by the end of August 2010.
The entry of these much-talked-about labels follows the announcement of Courtyard at Forum to host international brands like Mango and Aldo, suggesting that the city’s retail stocks are on recovery track.
“Shoppers’ aspiration levels are constantly shifting, as they upgrade through the retail rungs, from a Spykar to a Levi’s to a Guess. Our latest offering of these brands will satiate that growing desire to a large extent, and encourage other overseas labels sitting on the fence to take the plunge,” says Manmohan Bagree, Vice President – Commercial and Marketing, South City Projects Kolkata Ltd.
From Europe to Kolkata, the brands will carry the same price tag, a policy designed to cater to today’s `well-travelled urban professional`, a tack the Danish group feels will find increasing acceptance in the city like elsewhere in the country.
The core product of Jack & Jones is fashionable jeans and is targetted at the 20-35 age group. The target customers for Vero Moda are young women between 20-35 age group, “the liberal, highly-sophisticated fashionista”. While Only caters to teenage girls and young adolescents, Pieces, an accessories brand, completes the offerings.
“Kolkata is an important market for us and in our quest for a pan-India footprint, this is an extremely critical location. We might later think of a second outlet for our brands. For the moment, we are looking to consolidate our presence in the East and Northeast, with Kolkata as the hub,” says Sumit Suneja, Real Estate and Business Development Manager, Bestseller Retail India.
The city`s retail image had taken after a string of big-ticket pullouts, including that of Marks & Spencer and other top brands like Guess and Next from Avani Heights on Chowringhee, can be offset to some extent by the entry of these international brands, observes an industry expert.
The Bestseller group has two more brands in its kitty, Selected, a high-end, clean-cut men’s line, and Exit, the kids’ range, which it plans to bring to town subsequently.
“Our stores around the world follow an international template design done in Copenhagen, and for the South City outlet as well, we are shipping in all in-store motifs and fittings from the Danish capital,” adds Suneja.
As it gets ready for the European quartet, South City Mall is also in an advanced stage of negotiations with Timberland, a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories, and Esprit, both of which could open shop soon.