Mahindra Retail, an extension of the US$ 14.4 bn Mahindra Group’s trading foray in the domestic market through Mom & Me stores, and Destination Maternity, a global maternity apparel retailer, have opened their first maternity apparel store in India at Ambience mall, Gurgaon. Mahindra Retail entered a franchise agreement with Destination Maternity Corporation in March 2009. The association between the two has already introduced brands such as “Motherhood Maternity” and “A Pea in the Pod” in the country earlier.
Commenting on the tie-up, K Venkataraman, CEO, Mahindra Retail, said: “Destination Maternity has been the favoured and preferred brand of choice by pregnant women all over the world. We at Mahindra Retail have seen the gaps between the specific needs of expectant mothers and their desire to look smart and good. Gone are the days when pregnant women wrapped themselves with loose garments which did anything but hide the baby bump. Today, more and more career-oriented women work right through their pregnancies, and in the process, want to look smart too. Our effort, through this partnership with Destination Maternity, is to address the lacunae of smart maternity wear and provide mothers-to-be with a right blend of fashion and comfort. In fact, we have co-developed an ethnic maternity brand called Kriti Maternity with Destination Maternity. The store will have the following brands – Motherhood Maternity, Kriti Maternity, A Pea in A Pod (which is being launched in India for the first time). So, we are now offering both western and ethnic Indian maternity wear, thus making the choice far wider for expectant mothers.”
Edward Krell, CEO, Destination Maternity Corporation, said that the company is excited to announce the opening of its first Destination Maternity store in India. “With the launch of a Destination Maternity free-standing store, we shall be expanding our presence in the country. Our store will offer an unparalleled breadth of assortment and a unique and engaging shopping experience. This location in Ambience mall will be a ‘must visit’ shopping destination for the Indian mom-to-be. It is where the expectant mom can expect it all,” he added.
Destination Maternity is expanding internationally and has exclusive store franchise and product supply relationships in India, Middle East, and South Korea. As of March 31, 2012, Destination Maternity has 90 international franchised locations, including 76 shop-in-shop locations and 14 Destination Maternity branded stores. In the United States and Canada, as of March 31, 2012, Destination Maternity operates 2,027 retail locations, including 643 stores, predominantly under the trade names “Motherhood Maternity,” “A Pea in the Pod,” and “Destination Maternity”; and 1,384 leased department locations. The retailer also distributes its “Oh Baby by Motherhood” collection through a licensed arrangement at over 1,100 Kohl’s stores throughout the United States and on Kohls.com.
According to the company officials, apart from distributing toys, games, and wellness products under licenses from various international brands like Disney, Mattel, and NUK, Mahindra Retail’s Mom & Me chain of stores caters to the needs of mothers-to-be, young mothers, infants, and children up to the age of nine. Mom & Me has also developed private labels for women ethnic wear, infant apparel, and traditional Indian toys. It now has 77 stores across 27 cities, including Delhi, Haryana, Ghaziabad, Noida, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Indore, Bangalore, Kanpur, Kolkata, Mangalore, Dehradun, Raipur, Chennai, Vizag, Hyderabad, Calicut, and Coimbatore.