NEW YORK — Tumi is trekking to India.

The Murjani Group, known for launching brands such as Gloria Vanderbilt and Tommy Hilfiger in India, is planning to open up to 10 freestanding Tumi stores in India by 2010. The first store is set to open later this year in either Delhi or Mumbai.

“The first brand we [launched] in India was Tommy Hilfiger in 2004,” said Mohan Murjani, chairman of The Murjani Group.

The deal follows Tumi’s aggressive international expansion in the past few years.

In 2005, the South Plainfield, N.J.-based firm opened stores in Frankfurt, Germany, and in February opened a boutique in the Omotesando district in Tokyo. The company plans to open up to 10 European and Asian locations this year, with Athens, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Mos­cow and Amsterdam on the list. The firm also plans to open 10 U.S. stores this year. It opened units in Houston, New York and Hawaii last year.

Tumi has 56 stores worldwide.

“We’re quite serious about international diversification,” said Laurence Franklin, chief executive officer of Tumi, who said two-thirds of the firm’s business is outside the U.S. “Our focus has been on markets that can appreciate a premium brand and also have an understanding and appreciation of design and quality. The Indian marketplace will become an important marketplace.”

This story first appeared in the March 8, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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