The Juicy Couture brand now has its first freestanding store in India.
The shop in Gurgaon at Ambience Mall, a high-traffic shopping destination for the Indian Juicy Couture customer, was opened on Friday under an exclusive long-term franchise agreement between Authentic Brands Group and Reliance Brands Ltd. The store offers the complete Juicy Couture experience, while the merchandise assortment includes apparel, handbags and accessories and footwear. Fragrance will be added to the assortment mix in a few months. Polished brass and beveled mirrored fixtures stay true to the Juicy Couture aesthetic.
Jamie Salter, chairman and chief executive officer of ABG, which owns the brand, said, “Reliance brings an expertise in fashion retailing to this key luxury market.” He noted, “India is an important territory for brand growth.”
Darshan Mehta, president and ceo of Reliance, said, “I’m quite optimistic. It should be good.”
Mehta is busy working on the next phase of store openings for the Juicy brand. A second Juicy store will open at Elante Mall in Chandigarh next month, followed by a third in January slated for DLF Promenade in New Delhi. A fourth store is planned for Mumbai’s Palladium Mall in summer 2016.
Mehta explained that there are only about 20 relevant malls across India for luxury brands, noting that it’s not just about getting space, but also the right location within the mall. For Mehta, that means obtaining strategic locations near the entrances from the parking facilities for consumers who, due to the hot climate, prefer to arrive in air-conditioned cars. At Mumbai’s Palladium Mall, the planned Juicy store is located near the entrance to where the drop-off point is for valet parking. Mehta is also working on securing locations at the sites where new malls are under construction. Three new malls are slated for completion in 2016.
The franchise agreement between Reliance and ABG is for 20 years. The terms call for the opening of 20 Juicy monobrand stores over five years, he said.
Reliance, a key distributor in India for the premium-to-luxury fashion categories, is part of Reliance Industries Group. Reliance Industries started Reliance Brands in October 2007 for the purpose of launching and building international fashion brands focused in the luxury and premium markets. Other brand partners in Reliance’s portfolio include Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole and BCBG Max Azria. Brand partnerships via joint ventures include Brooks Brothers, Iconix Brand Group, Diesel and Ermenegildo Zegna.