Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) on Thursday announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with French luxury department store chain Galeries Lafayette to open stores and a dedicated e-commerce platform in India.
The flagship stores in Mumbai and Delhi will bring over 200 luxury and designer brands under one roof.
The 90,000 square feet flagship store in Mumbai is expected to be operational by 2024, ABFRL said in a statement on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the 65,000 square feet store in Delhi, expected to be operational in 2025, will be at DLF Emporio, one of India’s largest luxury malls. Galeries Lafayette, Delhi will complement the current offering at the mall with a set of designer brands across multiple categories.
Ashish Dikshit, managing director, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited called the partnership a “coming-of-age" moment for Indian luxury.
“India is now home to a generation of young and affluent consumers with global exposure, who are willing to spend on the finer things in life. This is visible in the boom and dynamism of the luxury market. The partnership with Galeries Lafayette is a ringing endorsement of India’s significance as a global luxury market and a future engine of growth for luxury brands," Dikshit said.
The Mumbai store will be housed across two historic buildings that recently heralded their century at the heritage precinct of Fort. The building is currently being designed by the architectural firm Virgile & Partners, who have worked extensively on storeyed department stores globally. Pike Preston is the adviser on-record for this collaboration.
The move displays both growing aspiration among Indian shoppers as well as attempts by large homegrown conglomerates such as ABFRL, and rival Reliance Retail, to participate in the luxury retail market. Reliance Retail - through its subsidiaries - already operates a clutch of high-end and premium brands in India.
The move is part of Galeries Lafayette’s plans to reach more well-heeled shoppers in markets overseas. The store is present in Shanghai, Nice, and Luxembourg, among other key cities.
“We are proud to expand our international footprint in such a prestigious and refined market as India, where we believe our brand can benefit from a strong potential. It is also a new illustration of our ambition to reach 20 stores abroad, with a primary focus on China, Asia and Middle East by 2025," said Nicolas Houzé, CEO, Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais.
To be sure, the Galeries Lafayette is renowned globally for its flagship location at Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. In fact, the Haussmann department store is the second-top tourist attraction in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower. The store retails an assortment of high-end luxury designers including Armani, Balenciaga, Burberry, Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Céline, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada among several others. The store also sells perfumes such as Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium, and Lancôme’s Miracle.
ABFRL is part of an Indian conglomerate, The Aditya Birla Group. Its portfolio of brands includes Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England, apart from retail-chain Pantaloons. ABFRL’s international brands’ portfolio includes—The Collective, a multi-brand retailer of international brands; the company has long-term exclusive partnerships with Ralph Lauren, Hackett London, Simon Carter, Ted Baker, Fred Perry, Forever 21, American Eagle and Reebok. The company also has strategic partnerships with designers Shantanu & Nikhil, Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi and House of Masaba.