Benetton India, the fully owned subsidiary of Benetton Italy, is all set to close 2005 with a 30 per cent growth over the previous year. It also launched its first ‘mega store’ in Chennai on Tuesday, and is looking to open 20 more such stores across the country in 2006.
The new store was spread out over 4,500 square feet, and promised the same brand experience as any Benetton store anywhere in the world, said Gagan Singh, Benetton India.
Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the store, she said, “India is a key market for Benetton Group, and apart from evolving our product offering to suit the market, Benetton India will continue to build such ‘mega stores’ to provide Indian customers with a global shopping experience at United Colors of Benetton.”
At present, Benetton has 50 exclusive stores in India, of which 20 were opened last year. In the South, it currently has five stores in Bangalore and one each in Hyderabad and (now) Chennai.
“We are looking at opening 20 more exclusive stores in 2006. We have always had a strong presence in the North, and this is across even some of the Tier 2 towns. Now, we will look to expand to cover more of the South and the West of the country. At least four or five of the 20 stores we open in 2006 will be in South India,” added Singh.
The brand offers something for kids, men and women, and it is bullish on the Chennai market. “We believe Chennai is ready now for a brand like Benetton. Overall, with retail booming in India, we hope to carry on expanding,” she added.
Benetton’s exclusive outlet network is a mix of owned and franchised stores. The master franchisee for Chennai is Lanson. The brand sporting the line ‘United Colors of Benetton’ also unveiled its Autumn Winter 2005-06 collection, and the newly opened store will offer more than 3,500 stock keeping units at any point in time, said a company release.