Bulgari joins luxury retailers in India

Bulgari opened its first flagship in India last month, joining a host of retailers entering the booming luxury market.

The luxury market in India grew 30 percent in 2013 to $8.5 billion, reported Women's Wear Daily. The share could reach $14 billion by 2016.

Parent company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton opened the 1,800 sq. ft. store in New Delhi with a silent partner. The Indian government granted approval to the retailer under a recent policy of allowing foreign direct investment in single-brand retail.

"Bulgari is increasingly interested in expanding its Indian presence, bearing in mind that in the past we were present through a franchisee partner. This new business joint venture allows for a complete Bulgari brand experience with the opening of a boutique showcasing the four dimensions of Bulgari—jewelry, luxury watches, premium accessories and high-end perfumes," Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of LVMH, told Women's Wear Daily.

Bulgari jewelry was available in India from 2004 to 2011, but with disappointing results.

Foreign interest in India has been growing for U.S. brands as the number of Indian consumers who can afford to pay higher prices and appreciate international fashion in the country has also grown.

Other apparel retailers joining the ranks in India include Gap (NYSE:GPS). The company recently announced a partnership with Arvind Lifestyle Brand to open 40 new Gap stores in India next year, starting with locations in Mumbai and New Delhi.

And U.S.-based branding and licensing company Authentic Brands Group signed a franchisee agreement with India's Reliance Brands for its Juicy Couture line. Reliance Brands plans to open 20 standalone stores of the casual fashion line in India starting in 2015.

For more:
-See this Women's Wear Daily article (subscription)

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