India all set to become next luxury retail destination

India which appeared bullish on its growth is all set become the hub of avante-garde culture with several leading international brands perceiving the country as the next `luxury retail destination’.

India is becoming the beacon of the future”, said Tikka Shatrujit Singh of the Louis Vuitton Company, a leading French brand, that is set to expand its footprint in India.

An environment has now been created for consumption of high-end luxury goods and experience, said Shashikanth, CEO, UB Global, which is all set to roll out an ambitious luxury retail project, UB City-Collection, in first quarter of 2008.

India is now ready for the international experience”, he said adding that the group had already signed up 10 international brands including names like Dunhil Gucci, Mont Blanc, Van CLeef, Arpels, Zegna and would bring in 12 others.

The luxury retail market which currently is in the nascent stage was roughly estimated to be around 1500 crore and expected to grow at 20 pecent in next five years.

The bullish growth on the stock market and the recent news that India’s leading industrialist, Mukesh Ambani, had even overtaken Bill Gates, to become the richest person in the world, is an indication that India was ready for that ultimate haute couture experience, Vivek Kaul, National Director, Retail and Leisure Advisory, said.

“Indians have become global”, he said adding that the growing exposure to international brands had changed the dice in favour of the luxury retail segment.

The luxury retail market is all set to evolve in a major way, says Vivek. “In the beginning the consumer might go in for small things like a cufflink, a purse, but you will soon see the consumer graduating to more high end products and services”, he said.

The advent of `aspirational shoppers’ is expected to add a thrust to this emerging segment. These shoppers who were young aspired to acquire a lifestyle that was international and their pursuit of wanting the best that the market offers, is what was going to take this segment to the next level of growth, he opines.

“It is not merely all about `I have arrived syndrome’, It is also realising that the reputed brands bring along with world class quality and were not beyond one’s reach”, he said.

India which is one of the countries with the fastest growing High Net worth Individuals in the APAC region is being perceived now as the next hub of avant-garde luxury goods consumption, he said.

“Five years ago the environment did not exist, but now everything has changed”, said Singh.

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