NEW DELHI — Hugo Boss in India has changed partners, with Genesis Luxury Private Ltd. taking over the brand’s two stores in the country.
“We have ended its Indian contractual relationship with Bin Hendi (of UAE) as of Dec. 31, 2015. As an intermediate step, we entered into a cooperation with Genesis beginning as of Jan. 1, 2016,” Bernd Hake, Boss’ senior vice president of Europe/Middle East, said.
The relationship with Genesis is expected to be consolidated further later this year via a joint venture partnership. Hake said this would help the company “prepare ourselves for one of the leading emerging economies.”
“A joint venture in India is important for Hugo Boss as we believe that it will offer us great opportunities to further develop the retail side of our business,” he said. “Overall, we are planning for 10 stores over the next five years.”
Part of the change is related to the way the Indian market has been developing. “The Indian consumers are evolving much faster than expected, and are quickly following global trends,” Hake observed. “As the Indian consumers evolve, so does our brand and our distribution strategy. We strongly believe it is the time to open a new chapter for our customers and our brand. With Genesis we found a proven expert for luxury fashion for the Indian market. They built an excellent reputation in the field of fashion marketing and distribution of international luxury brands like Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani and Jimmy Choo.”
Boss’ existing two stores — one in New Delhi and the other in Mumbai — have changed hands and are expected to undergo renovation this summer to install a new interior concept.
Genesis Luxury has been marketing and distributing global luxury brands in India since 2008, and also has brands such as Canali, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, G-Star Raw, Michael Kors, Paul Smith, Tumi and Villeroy & Boch.
L Capital, a private equity fund sponsored by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Groupe Arnault, invested in Genesis Luxury in 2011, giving the company added ability to bring in more brands and grow its retail presence.
“We think it is a great time for men’s wear in India as men are becoming more and more appearance-conscious and spending more on themselves,” said Sanjay Kapoor, managing director of Genesis Luxury. “Hugo Boss has a great connection with Indian audiences already and we see this as a big advantage in growing the brand business in India.
“The luxury market in India has been steadily growing at 20 percent in the last few years and we did witness a 20 percent total growth last year too. However, the same-store growth was at about 10 to 12 percent,” he added.
Hugo Boss opened its first store in India in 2003 in New Delhi, and added the Mumbai unit in 2004.
Since then there has been considerable change in the retail landscape in India, with luxury brands moving from five-star hotel locations to luxury malls. However, with the Emporio mall in New Delhi and Palladium in Mumbai as the two preferred locations, brands have been struggling to find their niche. Some companies, such as Hermès, have taken a different approach and opened stand-alone stores — Hermès opened at Horniman Circle in Mumbai. E-commerce also has added to luxury sales in India over the last two years.