U.S.-based branding and licensing company Authentic Brands Group has 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.
"Juicy Couture enjoys a very strong recall and connect among fashion forward Indian customers and we are very thrilled to add this glamorous and fun brand to our prominent affordable luxury portfolio [which already includes Diesel, Paul&Shark, Kenneth Cole, Steve Madden]," Darshan Mehta, president and CEO, Reliance Brands Limited, told Vogue.
Authentic Brands Group is not the first company to tap into the emerging Indian market. As a growing middle class with disposable income continues to expand, brands such as Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Gap (NYSE:GPS) are extending their presence in the market.
Jamie Salter, CEO, Authentic Brands Group, in an interview with The Economic Times, said the emerging market economy and brand's resurgence globally made this the perfect time to launch Juicy Couture in India. He also said that the partnership with Reliance will only grow and hopes to introduce other lines into India in the near future.
"When we purchased Juicy, we decided to shut the stores that are underperforming," said Salter. "Part of our business plan was that we wanted to pull out of the outlet business in the U.S. So we decided to go with mid-tier retailers in the U.S. Also, we don't want to be a mall-based store, we want it to be more on the street."
Juicy Couture was founded by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, and the candy-colored terry cloth track suits were an emblem of the 2000s. Their original brand, however, has since been bought and sold a couple of times over and became part of the Authentic Brands Group in 2013.
Subsequently, the company announced it would shutter all U.S. stores to focus on international operations, new boutique formats and a "pink label" product line that is sold at Kohl's (NYSE:KSS).
-See this Vogue article
-See this Economic Times article
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