Hermes Indian Sari

For luxury brands India remains the #2 best place to find luxury consumers to buy. What makes India so strong is Delhi and Mumbai as the best places to find luxury target audiences. The focus on India’s luxury market is a combo flavor of strategic luxury marketing being used by top luxury brands.

The Indian luxury market at $4.8 billion (Rs 25,440 crore) in 2010 is minuscule. Sample this: on last count, Gucci and Hugo Boss had three stores in India as opposed to 35 and 86 respectively in China. The math done by a 2010 CII and AT Kearney Report is indicative of the low penetration of luxury brands in India. And in this not-so-level playing field, Delhi and Mumbai account for nearly 25% of the stores.

Who is the best luxury consumer in India?

The focus is on the local consumer. Whenever a brand comes in to the Indian market it talks of localising, customising to appeal to the local customer. But in this case, the challenge becomes even more interesting, as they have to adapt to the two markets to change the game.

“Though both Delhi and Mumbai are very cosmopolitan they have different influencers in terms of neighbourhood and activities,” says Pradeep Hirani, managing director of multi-brand retail Kimaya.

And this reflects in the way they consume luxury. Meaning? While an embellished sari has higher chances of getting picked up in Delhi than in Mumbai, in Mumbai clients will ask for more subtle jackets and interesting-cut garments. Or bling and logos work better in Delhi, Mumbai is more subtle.

Malhotra points out that in Delhi, the shopping is more centred around the family, with the family. “Luxury shopping is more occasion wear in Delhi,” he says.

Delhi

Main Consumers: Old Money
Constitutes: 50% of India’s luxury market in sales
What Works: The centrepoint for the whole of north India, especially towns in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the centre for New Money. Not price sensitive, so the ‘real’ luxury brands work here
Why Buy: Luxury is status symbol
Key Sales: Jewellery and accessories
Luxury Hub: DLF Emporio, but markets like Khan Market, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road and complexes like The Crescent at the Qutub can be a luxury shopping hub

Mumbai Masala

Main Consumers: Fragmented. North Mumbai (near the airport) and Central is New Money, while South (Nariman Point, Malabar Hill and Colaba) accounts for the Old Money
Constitutes: 30% of India’s luxury market in sales
What Works: Being the centre of Bollywood, movies and filmstars define street style and the city has a higher sense of fashion. It’s a hub for high-street brands as it is price sensitive
Why Buy: Luxury gets you noticed
Key Sales: Clothes, accessories and jewellery
Luxury Hub: The Palladium, Phoenix Mills

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