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“Versace Collection store will be operational by October 2017”: Prem Dewan

In exclusive conversation with Prem Dewan sheds, Retail Head, OSL Luxury Collections Pvt Ltd sheds light on luxury market in India

Tags: Versace, Coreliani, OSL luxury

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  August 05, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Prem Dewan

How far has luxury market evolved in India? Also how has been market’s response towards Corneliani?

There is no denial that Luxury retail segment has evolved immensely over a decade. Many brands have entered the Indian market, few have left and a few re-entering as they feel India is now ready for them. The sector is growing at a rapid pace with international luxury brands setting up their stores. Due to fragmented and diversified customer base in India, there exists a huge opportunity to the international brands. 

Indian market has accepted the brand very well and we have seen remarkable growth in terms of our clientele. At store level, we ensure that we built relation with the client and provide a unique shopping experience.

Is it true that the launch your Versace Collection store which was announced last year has been delayed further due to GST?  Also tell us something about the collection?

No, the launch has not been delayed further. We are opening its first store in October this year. Earlier, the launch got delayed as the mall was not ready for it at that time.

Versace Collection is the commercial line of Versace which comes with more accessible price points and is aimed at a younger audience. The popularity of the brand is evident from the fact that top celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Demi Moore, and Britney Spears have adorned it on various occasions.

Where and how you will be opening stores for Versace collection?

We have master franchise for Versace in India and are planning to open its first exclusive store at DLF The Chanakya, Emporio-2 mall. Apart from this, we are also targeting other malls in Mumbai and Bangalore.  Versace mainline is coming at UB City Bangalore shortly.  

What would be the price range of the collection? And how big the store will be?

The price range of the collection will be between 5 thousand to 1.5 lakhs. The store will be spread across 1000 sq.ft area.

Apart from apparels, we will also be offering Versace licensed fragrances, eyewear, watches, etc under the collection.

What are the challenges of luxury retailing in India?

The biggest challenge that the retailers face is infrastructure. Luxury requires an ecosystem. Economic slowdown/ tight liquidity position in the market impacted retailers’ ability to grow and expand. Retailers evaluated their store network and expansion strategy to adopt a more conservative approach and negotiated rents with property owners. Finding the right location with the right rental for store has been a challenge for all retailers as rent forms a large portion of the total expenditure. s

So, what are the setbacks?

There are many including constantly changing policies, duty structures, GST especially on accessories and leather products. With GST, leather products have become even more expensive. Moreover, there are many tabs that government is putting after demonetization. Though, people are coming out of it and things are improving but it will take time. 

Tell us about your other brand Corneliani. Are you planning to expand it further?

We have been associated with Corneliani since 5 years. The brand stands out for its values of tradition and quality that make it a world landmark in men’s elegance. Designed for the demanding, fashion-conscious man, it combines the most refined fabrics with tailoring details into a lithe, graceful look. The brand has a long history of bringing innovations and new styles into menswear segment.

Corneliani’s price range starts from 15 thousand and goes upto 2 lakhs. As the brand is doing exceptionally good in India, we have created a special India inspired collection for our customers. The popular range from our India Inspired collection is of Jawahar jackets which are all made in Italy. 

As far as expansion is concerned, we are open to all the opportunities. We are always looking for new & innovative proposals that would help us to strengthen our presence even better. We aim to bring forth the right product offerings to the Indian consumers as well as targeting them better. 

Any plans to foray into women’s category?

With Versace collection we will cater both our men and women clientele. 

Are you planning any similar collaboration like Versace?

We are currently focusing on opening Versace stores first, post which we will look for other collaborations.

What is your perspective on online business? Any plans to have exclusive web store in near future? What are the challenges in online luxury retailing?

We do not have any online presence in India as of now but we are working on it. If we get a nod from the international team, we will certainly enter the online business. We believe that the touch and feel factor is very important when you buy something from ultra-luxury brands like Corneliani. The quality of the fabric, minute detailing, designs and cuts can only be experienced physically. But having said that, we feel that e-commerce also has its own benefits as everything is available on your fingertips.

Talking about challenges in online luxury retailing, we feel that counterfeit products are one of the biggest fears that people face. Since, we fall in the ultra-luxury category, we don’t have counterfeit issue. But there are lots of other brands out there who are suffering from it. 

Have you introduced any technology to improve the touch and feel experience?

We feel that the innovation is a key to success in any business.  Corneliani has always been synonymous to innovation, be it in terms of designs, logistics, quality or technology. For instance, we have introduced lot of innovative features in our fabrics based on nano technology. We have also introduced fabrics which are crush and frill free. 

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