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DLF Brands shift focus from luxury to mass market


DLF Brands, the retail arm of real estate company DLF, which runs one of India’s largest high-street fashion brands mall Emporio, will exit the luxury business. It has shut down a couple of stores of American fashion brand DKNY, after parting ways with premium brands such as Mango, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani and Sephora earlier.

“Out of seven stores, five are still operational,” said Timmy Sarna, MD of DLF Brands. “We don’t have any plans of opening new DKNY stores. And we don’t want to be in the high-fashion business. It’s difficult to scale that business up because there aren’t too many locations in the country where you can sell luxury,” he said.

Instead, DLF Brands wants to focus on mass brands. “We have profitable businesses in Mothercare, Sunglass Hut and Kiko,” said Sarna. “This year, Mothercare will touch a top line of Rs 300 crore and we want to scale it up to Rs 1,000 crore in three years.”

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DLF Brands has bought the franchise rights of Mothercare for 15 years, a UK-based retailer that sells products for expectant mothers and children, and plans to launch smaller stores, even in community-based markets, selling value-added products.

“From 109 stores at present, we want to increase the number to 300. A major part of production is happening here now, so prices will eventually come down,” he said.

“Apart from this, our other brands such as Sunglass Hut, Claire’s and make-up brand Kiko are doing extremely well and are profitable.” The company started showing signs of discomfort with luxury and premium brands from 2012, when it exited its joint ventures with Giorgio Armani and Ferragamo.

In 2014, it shut down stores of Italian menswear brand, Boggi Milano. Then last year, it parted with LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton’s make-up and skincare brand Sephora, which was subsequently taken over by Arvind Lifestyle Brands.

(Source: Times of India)