Delhi, India's single-largest retail markets, is home to a number of strong foreign brands across the globe such as Calvin Klein, US Polo, Zara, Marks etc are tapping the thriving retail market of the capital city.
Delhi, India's single-largest retail markets, is home to a number of strong foreign brands across the globe. Brands such as Calvin Klein, US Polo, Zara, Marks and Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger etc are tapping the thriving retail market of the capital city. Another entrant to this 'home' of sorts is Gap, the popular casual denim brand started in 1969 by Donald and Doris Fisher as a music and fashion store.
Opening its first store at Select CityWalk in South Delhi, Gap has partnered with Bengaluru-based Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd, a subsidiary of Arvind Brands. Gap is present in 50 markets, 45 of which are franchise-led, including India, and has approximately 3,500 stores across the globe.
India is seen as a strong market by foreign brands owing to its foreign policies. According to a study by Wazir Advisors, India's apparel retail market is estimated at $45 billion and is projected to reach $200 by 2025. Why, then, Gap waited to enter India? "For us, 'If' was never a question. It was 'When'. You have to find the right partner, look at the right model. We are very happy to have Arvind Brands as our partner. I think the cultures of the two companies are similar; Arvind Brands brings local expertise to the table, which is useful, and a 20-year relationship with the company helped us take this decision," said Stefan Laban, Senior Vice President of Gap.
Gap's association with Arvind Brands
"We are looking at a huge opportunity from the Indian market standpoint. It could be a 1,000 crore opportunity in five years. All I can say is the quality of retail will change with the launch of Gap in India," assured J Suresh, MD & CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands, looking to strengthen the brand's position in the main as well as affluent stream. Arvind Brands operates through a 1,000 stores over 190 cities and contributes 30 per cent of the group's turnover (8,000 crore) through the consumer brands.
What lies ahead?
Arvind Lifestyle Brands plans to have at least 10 stores by 2016, mainly in the metro cities, and another 30 stores in the next four years. So, what will be the projected investment into every store? "We will look to invest around Rs 10 crores in every store. So, let us look at Rs 300-400 crore investments in the 40 stores. This will include capital, expenditure as well as the working capital," informed Suresh.
Gap is still working on its eCommerce strategy and might launch operations via their own website or with a partner. "Nothing is clear, but we are planning to do it soon," added Laban, while discussing their India strategy with Retailer.
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