Retail Dec, 24 2012

Luxury at its best

An interesting trend emerging in the luxury retail market is in ‘the bridge to luxury’ segment. Many luxury brands are engaging consumers by offering products with pricing that bridge the super-premium to luxury price segment. FRETTE has successfully

By Nivedita SM
Luxury at its best

Founded in 1860, Milan-based FRETTE is the leading international luxury bed, bath and home furnishing brand. World renowned for its luxury linens, the brand has a rich history supplying the finest linens to aristocratic families throughout Europe, as well as to the Vatican. The products can be found in Beverly Hills, New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo and other international luxury centres. The company launched EDMOND in 2009 as the line designed to be more relaxed and contemporary than its parent couture collection. This enables the consumer to get induced into the ‘luxury experience’ enjoying the sheer excellence of craftsmanship and typically be compelled to upgrade to next level. Presently, the brand is present in more than 40 mono-brand stores in Italy and nearly 100 boutiques in the shopping centres across the world and in most prestigious departmental stores. Top hospitality establishments such as the Paris Ritz, London Savoy, Singapore Raffles, Peninsula Hong Kong and all of Ritz-Carlton's U.S. properties outfit their hotels with FRETTE linens.

Brand’s philosophy and product line 

The brand’s philosophy is to maintain the leadership in style and comfort and provide its trademark quality to all its customers. With its launch in India, it aspires to be a haven for Indian decor fashionistas. The store is the new benchmark in the lavish décor shopping experience and India’s new destination for the decor conscious. FRETTE offers luxury products for the entire family in its collections that varies anything from a bed linen to accessories to home wear for men and women, beach and bath products and baby essentials. It provides a varied taste in comforters, bed sets, duvets, pillows, quilts and bed spreads in its bed collections. In its beach and bath collection, it offers bath robes, beach accessories, soaps, spa essentials, candles and towels.  The FRETTE to wear collection comprises of accessories, lingerie, nightwear, sweaters, robes, slippers and scarves for men and women.  The Baby collection contains bibs, bathrobes, blankets and bedding.

Growth drivers 

Rising consumer confidence after the global meltdown is leading to increasing aspirations and hence the demand for luxury boutique homes/villas/apartments with a high lifestyle quotient. The enthusiasts aspiring for this luxury include business leaders, top corporate executives, NRIs and expatriates. As a result of this growing demand, developers are now engaging renowned interior designers whose services entail travelling across the globe to procure furnishings from luxury brands such as FRETTE, with its aspirational line EDMOND FRETTE. With the availability of high end luxury furniture and furnishing brands locally, the demand for these products is likely to escalate significantly. A changing trend is also being witnessed in the residential real estate segment and particularly in the luxury homes segment which is growing at over 20 per cent.

The brand forays into India 

The rapid pace at which luxury housing is growing in India has evolved luxury furnishings into very a lucrative industry. Indian consumers are heavily influenced by Western culture and now they are willing to spend handsomely on decorating their living space. With this shift in consumer profile, the obvious gap in the market is for a leading luxury home furnishing and bed linen brand such as FRETTE. After making a mark globally in countries like USA, France, UK and having opened over 10 stores in China in the last two years, the brand now intends to make an indelible mark in the Indian market.

Franchise business model 

FRETTE operates strictly on franchise model world-wide. The all India exclusive rights for the brand’s franchise are held by Elite Lifestyle, an international investor. Regency Retail Private Limited is the Indian entity which is a subsidiary of Elite Lifestyle and represents the local office in India. The brand plans to launch six to nine stores in the next three years primarily in the metros followed by Tier II markets.

Competition & challenges 

Several other luxury bed linen brands have or are expecting to make their foray into the Indian market. Competition from these brands such as Versace Home, Ralph Lauren, Fendi Casa and Armani is not a concern for us since for all these fashion brands; bed linen is a secondary line. However the brand intend to take its level of services a step further by providing clients customised designs across the range of products. Moreover going forward, an improvement in the Indian retail environment and changed regulations is likely to make the Indian stores a great access point vis-a-via the Western outlets.

Conclusion

FRETTE presence has grown worldwide during the past century. This demonstrates that sophistication and quality can last over the years and are not restricted to a narrow geographical area; they are the expression of an effortless search for good taste and constantly growing elegance.

Related: Boosting agricultural productivity via franchising

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