MILAN — Gucci is entering the Indian market directly.

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The luxury goods company has signed a venture with entrepreneurs Reena and Ashok Wadhwa and holds a 51 percent stake in the business, the maximum allowed to foreign companies in India. Through the venture, Gucci is opening its third store in India this month. Located at New Delhi’s luxury Emporio Mall and covering 3,888 square feet, the unit will be the biggest of Gucci’s three stores in the country, with the brand’s full range of product on display.

“We do believe that India will definitely become an important market for the industry in the long term,” said Patrizio di Marco, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. “Indians have a sophisticated taste for luxury goods and we have been working with Indian customers in key European locations for years. Gucci’s unique combination of luxury heritage and fashion authority certainly has strong appeal for consumers in this market.”

Gucci entered India in 2007 with a two-year franchise agreement with brand developer Murjani Group. The brand’s two other stores are in Mumbai, at the Galleria, Nariman Point, and in New Delhi at the Oberoi hotel.

“Gucci is one of the world’s most respected and desired brands,” said Ashok Wadhwa. “[It] represents the quality, craftsmanship and design innovation that define real luxury. We are proud to be associated with Gucci.”

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