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Saks Fifth Avenue is coming to India

Saks Fifth avenue is set to enter India with two new stores following a yet-to-sealed distribution deal between the American department store and Aditya Birla Fashion Retail Ltd.

The first Saks Fifth Avenue store looks to open in Aerocity near the Delhi airport followed by a second in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), sources told Livemint, but not until late 2017 or early 2018.

“Aditya Birla Group is in a late stage of discussions” to lease 100,000 square foot of space in Worldmark 2, where the first Saks outlet in India will open, a sourced also revealed to the Economic Times.

Saks Fifth Avenue corporate personnel have visited India twice in the past three months, ahead of a return trip planed for March, said the sources. Both firms have reached an understanding and are in the process of finalising their plans, a person told local media. It is also believed CBRE is acting as a real-estate consultant, according to sources.

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Both Saks and Aditya Birla were unavailable to comment.

The partnership between Aditya Birla Fashion and Saks Fifth Avenue is expected to take form as a long-term licensing agreement. The department store sells cosmetics, apparel and accessories from luxury brands. It is also expected to introduce brands like Ralph Lauren that are not present in India, said sources.

Owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., Saks Fifth Avenue has about 60 stores worldwide. The parent form has been looking to expand its fold – which includes Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor in the United States, as well as Galeria Kaufhof in Europe — to reduce the impact of consumer spending in North America.

In early January, Hudson cut its full-year revenue forecast for the second time, citing a challenging retail environment in the United States and Europe.

According to Reuters, Hudson’s Bay made a takeover approach for retail chain Macy’s in February, in a deal that would push the Canadian department store operator deeper into the U.S. market.

Aditya Birla Fashion Retail operates the Madura Fashion division. It distributed brands including Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Peter England and Allen Solly. In 2012, it acquired Pantaloons department retail chain, India’s largest fashion and apparel retailer, with a revenue of over Rs6,060 crore in 2016.

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