A woman walks past a Tiffany & Co. store at a shopping mall in Beijing. The designer boutiques of Manhattan and Paris are feeling the chill of a Chinese economic slowdown that has hammered automakers and other industries. That is jolting brands such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry that increasingly rely on Chinese customers who spend $90 billion a year on jewelry, clothes and other high-end goods. The industry already is facing pressure to keep up as China's big spenders shift to buying more at the spreading networks of luxury outlets in their own countryLuxury Shopping Chill, Beijing, China - 29 Nov 2018

Tiffany & Co. is expanding its footprint in South Asia. The jeweler today reveals its foray into India, with stores planned for major metropolitan hubs.

Tiffany will open in India through a partnership with Reliance Brands Ltd., one of the country’s top fashion and retail groups that has also forged partnerships with Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Muji and the Armani Group, among others.

Together, Tiffany and Reliance Brands will open a Delhi flagship later this year and in Mumbai in 2020. In doing so, they will capitalize on India’s growing middle class and brand-conscious young consumers. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, the Indian government aims to welcome some 20 million tourists annually by 2020 — inevitably another boost to the country’s retail landscape.

Philippe Galtié, Tiffany’s executive vice president of global sales, said of the company’s strategic expansion: “As a global luxury jeweler with stores in many of the world’s most important cities, Tiffany’s emergence in these Indian commerce centers with their growing luxury consumer base presents a unique opportunity. We are proud to work with India’s leader in luxury retail, RBL, to develop a meaningful presence and further expand our brand equity in this important market.”

Added Darshan Mehta, president and chief executive officer of Reliance Brands: “Tiffany needs no introduction in India — it is iconic and timeless. We look forward to bringing Tiffany’s renowned jewelry collections and superlative diamonds to India.”

Tiffany has more than 320 stores across 25 countries, 14 of which also operate e-commerce divisions. Asia is a key focus for the retailer, especially China. An indication of that is the retailer’s plans to mount a major exhibition in Shanghai beginning Sept. 23, “Vision & Virtuosity,” which will recount the 182 years of Tiffany’s history through an immersive experience.