Would you spend a lakh of rupees on a pen or Rs 80,000 on a business bag? How about spending Rs 8,000 on a wallet or Rs 20,000 on a belt or even Rs 25,000 on a razor?
If you are reading this in a state of utter disbelief, then it is likely that you are unaware of the fact that some people in Hyderabad would not really mind doing exactly that.
“There has been a major change in the tastes and purchasing power of the denizens of the city today and they have started understanding the true worth of our high-class products. So now they have no qualms in splurging on such high-valued products occasionally,” says Michelle Perry, manager of Mont Blanc boutique in Hyderabad.
The price of the writing instruments collection of Mont Blanc starts from Rs 13,000 and crosses even the Rs 3 lakh mark. Moreover, according to Perry there have been a few city customers in the high-end range as well! There has been a growth of about 50 per cent in the city sales, compared to what it was seven years ago, she corroborates.
Germany-based Mont Blanc, that has been traditionally known as a maker of high-quality and sophisticated pens, today, also offers watches, eyewear and leather products like wallets, business bags, belts and brief-cases. It operates through its 200 boutiques and more than 9,000 sales outlets in 70 countries.
The entire leather collection of Mont Blanc, ranges from Rs 8,000 to Rs 1 lakh and is sourced from Paris. In the next year, Mont Blanc is also planning to launch in India, its coloured range of handbags for women. So far, we had restricted the colours to only black and brown, says Mira Soin, senior sales executive with the company.
“The business bags have become quite popular with the working women because of their trendy look. Women, however, are a little price-conscious than men in this regard and therefore difficult to convince,” Soin, complains. But do the men agree?
Speaking on changing tastes, Soin explains, “Initially, people used to prefer the resin-based sun glasses but now the metallic look is in.” The eyewear range has, however, not picked up very well in the city, she adds.
Keeping in tune with the current trends, Mont Blanc has also come up with the platinum range of watches for youngsters. “While the senior group of customers prefers gold-plated accessories, the younger ones are inclined towards the platinum collection,” says Soin with a glint in her eyes. Incidentally, today it is the watches that are bringing in more sales for the boutique than pens that they are traditionally known for.
So are there any special occasions for people to indulge in such high-priced items or is it a year-round trend? "Our products are basically bought for the purpose of gifting. And Diwali definitely brings in great sales for us," Soin smiles. Well, with Hyderabadis joining the money-spending bandwagon, Diwali surely is giving Soin a reason to smile.