Hugo Boss expects China-like growth in India

Friday, 20 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India is virgin territory for high fashion retail but the market is set to surge, international fashion major Hugo Boss predicts.

"What we are seeing in India is what we saw in China," said Lars-Peter Larsen, managing director of Hugo Boss Hong Kong.

"In 1995, when we entered China there was no concept of fashion retail. We had no idea how the industry would grow. Now we have 49 shops there," Larsen told IANS after the unveiling of the company's first South Asia store at New Delhi's luxury Oberoi Hotel Thursday evening.

The 1,350-square foot store adjoining the Louis Vuitton outlet at the hotel's shopping plaza would store the brand's classic and trendy suits, knitwear, polo shirts, leisurewear and denims.

"There isn't much differentiation in the Indian market. We want to provide a platform of choice for the discerning customer," said Larsen.

The brand also showed off some of the styles that it hoped to sell in the country. Models wore classic Hugo Boss wool suits, in three and two button, (the entry point price of which are at 29,600 per suit) cotton shirts for a rich corporate look.

"Our price points have been fixed in a manner that no customer can ever say, 'I can get this suit cheaper in London'," said Larsen.

Then came the linen khaki look that exemplifies the Hugo Boss sharp, yet laidback leisurewear style. Linen suits were coupled with black mesh T-shirts and round-necks, and suede jackets were coupled with linen denims.

Crushed silk suits, waterproof jackets and mercerised cotton T-shirts completed the look. The waterproof jackets seemed just in time as pre-monsoon rains flooded Delhi streets even as the launch was on.

The brand also released its trend list for spring/summer 2003, calling its main mood "Lightness of Being". Its primary themes are "light waves", "city nomads", "nouveau dandy" and "oriental roots".

The main colours for the brand this season are of the elements of sand, sky, sun and water, namely light greens, blues, yellows and whites. It's darker moods are reflected by olives, rich greys, beiges, burnt oranges and curries.

With its subsidiaries, Hugo Boss posted net sales of 1.09 billion euros last year.

During the first three months of the current year, the group's turnover marginally fell to 358 million euros from 359 million in the same period last year. Net income also fell to 44 million euros from 53 million euros.

However, the group is predicting a rise in income of at least 10 percent as early as the second quarter of 2003.

There are more than 600 Hugo Boss shops in 70 countries.

Source: IANS
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