Economic Times: July, 2016
New Delhi: French luxury leather goods brand Longchamp has plans to open up to six stores in India over the next 3-4 years, its CEO Jean Cassegrain said.
The company announced its India entry last month and launched its first store in New Delhi. DOIT Retail Brands has the master franchise rights for Longchamp in India.
Longchamp owns more than 300 exclusive stores globally and retails from another 1,500 points of sale and has a workforce of around 3,000.
It is famous for its signature leather handbags, luggage, shoes, and other fashion accessories sold at global retail stores like Selfridges and Bloomingdale's, besides its own stores.
"We arrived late here as it took us time to find the right partner. Another reason was the difficulty in finding good store locations. It's not easy to find the store locations in luxury because the options are very limited. In future we may look at more stores in Mumbai, Chennai or Bengaluru," Cassegrain to ET.
Longchamp recorded sales of 566 million euros last year with a growth of 14 per cent. About 30 per cent of the company's business is in France, Cassegrain said.
"After the French, Chinese are the biggest customers. They also buy a lot overseas. The other big markets are US, Japan and Germany. We're are the favourite brand of the French women. Very Parisian."
Cassegrain said the company has kept its price points in India competitive to markets like Singapore and Dubai. "We have worked with our partner to keep the price difference with Europe as tight as possible. The prices here will be 20 per cent higher than Europe, which is reasonable considering the duties."
Longchamp expanded to markets like Cambodia, Chile, Peru and South Africa last year. "In Asia, the business is in shopping malls. In Europe, we like street shopping. In markets like India, we need luxury malls to develop our presence. But, at the time, the options are limited," Cassegrain said.
The company stated its revenue grew 15 per cent in Asia, and the Asian market contributed 25 per cent to overall sales.