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luxury retail 2012-12-09

Exquisitely designed biz opportunity

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

Bringing in the latest from the world’s top luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, Kitsch is all about all things beautiful, well crafted and exquisitely designed clothes and accessories. In an interview, Charu Sachdev, Founder and CEO of TSG International Marketing shares brand’s expansion plans.

Namita Bhagat (NB): Share with us the origin and concept of Kitsch.

Charu Sachdev (CS): TSG International, the luxury retail company is the exclusive licensee for renowned international brands such as Alexander McQueen, Diane Von Furstenberg, Halston Heritage, Stella McCartney, YSL, McQ etc in India. One needs to step into a Kitsch boutique in Delhi at the Emporio Mall or in Mumbai at Kala Ghoda, to understand it is about all things beautiful, well crafted and exquisitely designed clothes and accessories for a discerning audience. Kitsch manages to bring the latest from the world’s top luxury fashion and lifestyle brands at prices that are 5-10 per cent lower than those in the European, Middle East or East Asia markets around the world.

NB: How unique is Kitsch?

CS: Our boutiques follow an uber chic design concept where the brands are displayed in an unhurried manner for the discerning customer to choose from their ready to wear collection and accessories that include bags, shoes, belts and jewellery. The warm, friendly and attentive store personnel help you pick your favorite designs and accessories them with the right bags and shoes to match. They would indulge you until you find your perfect ensemble for the occasion in question. One could also make an appointment with the store stylist and enjoy undivided attention and advice on the latest fashion trends to the colour of the season and maybe recommend on the best salon for a swish blow dry to an indulgent spa treatment. From Lanvin’s iconic bags, to Alexander McQueen’s bold designs to Stella McCartney’s eye-popping, gorgeous bright, Kitsch has an exclusive collection of merchandise to please every woman's and man's eye.

NB: How many stores do you currently have and what are the brand’s expansion plans?

CS:  We currently have three high-end Kitsch multi-brand stores major Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. Primarily we want to expand Kitsch in all the Tier I and eventually Tier II cities in India.  We intend to open two more point of sale by the end of 2013 and another five more by 2016. Some will be company owned while others shall be owned by like mined franchise partners who wish to grow with us in this luxury business. Having a local partner helps us in knowing and connecting with the local buyers. A personal touch is given to the business which is important in luxury retail.  It gives us a clear understanding of the requirements of the particular market or city as well.

NB:  What are the essential qualities for a potential franchisee wanting to partner Kitsch?

CS: Franchisee partner should have an appropriate/ ideal real estate location for setting up the store. He should be very well connected locally, should have a strong financial background to support the store operations and workings. Franchisee should be preferably from retail background to understand the working more efficiently.

NB:   Please share franchise facts like investment and area, targeted cities and preferred locations for opening the brand's store.

CS:  Depending on the size of retail store investment would vary. Complete set up cost would be within Rs 50 -60 lakh. We select location on the basis on market analysis and local research feedback. We are targeting select Tier I and II cities like Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore.

NB:  What’s your overview of the current Indian luxury retail scenario?

CS: Today, with introduction of a large number of international luxury brands in the country, the face of luxury retail in India has undergone a dramatic transformation. These days, luxurious goods are becoming necessity for all.  Luxury retail has four important elements - quality, value for money, customer satisfaction, and creativity.

NB: Do you agree that India is a tough market for luxury retailers?

CS: India isn’t a tough market anymore, the young and the rich are well versed and live up to Global Fashion trends. Now they only look for source assistance and regular updates, the retailers need to ensure they are keeping pace with global fashion and are able to cater to the needs of the customers in time.

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