Fashion brands: Global fashion and lifestyle brands to step up their game as Covid declines

German sandal maker Birkenstock plans to open 25 outlets in India this year, while Italian group Pianoforte plans to open around 20 stores for each of the Yamamay and Carpisa brands over the next two years. After launching its online store in India last year, Victoria’s Secret is making its India debut with a 4,000-square-foot outlet in Delhi’s Ambience mall and the lingerie retailer is seeking space in other locations. shopping centers.

After a two-year pandemic-induced lull, many global retail brands and newcomers to India are stepping on the gas to expand their operations here.

Retail has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, with sales falling in stores as consumers avoid malls and high streets and shop online – this too mainly for non-discretionary spending. Many retailers are now saying the worst is behind them.

“We know the pandemic is going downhill now. Most countries have lifted bans and restrictions and there is no RT-PCR requirement for incoming tourists in many countries including India,” said Rohit Malhotra, Managing Director of Jay Jay Capital & Investments, which opened a dozen stores. -stand-alone boutiques and outlets this year of global sportswear and athletics brands from Lonsdale London and sports equipment company Everlast. “It’s a good time to expand because the markets are opening up and people want to get out. Once people go out, they bring incentives to malls and markets. »

Jay Jay Capital is set to open three Gloria Jeans Coffee stores as the Australian chain returns to India.

The pandemic has hit Birkenstock’s plans in India after debuting here in early 2020. Now the maker of sandals – which are also popular among Hollywood stars and celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Thero – plans to expand aggressively here this year, sources said.

Varun Bagadiya, director of Element Retail, said his company will open ten Birkenstock franchise outlets this year in cities including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat and Thiruvananthapuram.

Hennes & Mauritz plans to add H&M Home stores to most of its four dozen existing stores in India. H&M runs a 25,000 square foot store in the Select Citywalk mall in New Delhi and people in the know said the mall is creating around 3,000 square feet of additional space for the Swedish retailer to house H&M Home products.

Retailers said the pandemic prompted many brands to scale back or close many stores to cut costs and operate efficiently. So overall mall space has become 10-20% cheaper in most cases, Jay Jay Capital’s Malhotra said.

“The market has corrected the course for rentals and this vision is valid for the year 2022,” said Kirti Khosla, marketing officer for Milan-based Pianoforte, which is expanding its Yamamay and Carpisa stores. “We expect the rise in rents to only occur after 2023.”

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