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German fashion major ‘Aigner’ targets high-end India

02-April-2004
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German fashion major ‘Aigner’ targets high-end India

The market for luxury brands is upbeat. As per the Asia Pacific consumer confidence survey by AC Nielsen ORG-MARG, consumer spending in India is on the rise. With urban Indians looking for new ways to demonstrate their wealth, premium foreign brands are making a beeline for the Indian market. Posing as tough competition to Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss, German brand ‘Aigner’ today launched its range of high-end leather accessories, apparels, key chains, perfumes and timepieces at Hotel Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi.

“India is a young, fast developing market comprising as discerning and fashion conscious a customer as the world over; we foresee a promising future for Aigner. In fact, it is our tradition to enter a market early and create brand awareness before our competitors enter,” Olaf Dhrubba, Sales Director (International), Aigner, told exchange4media.

Aigner, which clocks a global turnover of $400 million, has a franchise-led global distribution network and is available at 136 Aigner shops and 400 sales outlets worldwide. “In India, we’ve opened our store at Hotel Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi, which will be followed by Mumbai and Bangalore. In Mumbai, our store would be located in an upmarket mall next to the new Hotel Grand Hyatt,” said Dhrubba.

The company has appointed Sports Station India as its exclusive distributor for Aigner Shops in India. “Sports Station is a six-year-old company managing over fifty stores, and clocks a turnover of Rs 50 crore. Our partnership with global brands including Nike, Levis and Dockers has helped enhance our understanding of the apparel market,” said Sunil Taneja, Director, Sports Station India. “Aigner should do well. People in India have been exposed to International brands and expect access to such brands in India as well,” he told exchange4media.

Aigner has high expectations, perhaps due to the scarcity of competition. “When compared to other markets, India does not have too many International brands. Take Japan, for example, which has over 35 International brands, compared to a meagre five or six in India. Our German competitors have not entered the market as yet,” said Dhrubba.

At Aigner, key chains are priced from Rs 8,000, while bags cost Rs 15-70,000, shoes come at Rs 18-20,000 and luggage at Rs 30-40,000 etc. The target consumer is SEC-A 30-50-year olds. “We are planning to target the jet-setting class and shift their buying habits towards India. The pricing policy that we've implemented here is the same anywhere else in the world. So, there will be no economic reason for Indians to shop abroad,” Taneja said.

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