Madura in talks with global fashion brands to form JVs

NEW DELHI, Sept 13: Aditya Birla group firm Madura Fashion & Lifestyle (MFL) is in talks with a select few international luxury fashion brands to form joint ventures for opening standalone stores in India.

MFL that runs ‘The Collective’ stores retailing a slew of global fashion brands, including Armani Collezioni, Versace Jeans and Hugo Boss, will be investing over Rs 100 crore to take its total store count to up to 15 in five years.

“Recently, we had a re-look at our international brands business and we believe that a select few brands could be scaled up to become independent mono-brand. We are in talks with those brands to form joint ventures so that we can open standalone stores,” MFL CEO Ashish Dikshit told PTI.

According to industry sources, the company has been having dialogues with Ted Baker, True Religion and Fred Perry brands for separate JVs, in line with the move to open monobrand stores for British men’s luxury clothing and accessories brand, Hackett.

Dikshit, however, declined to confirm it.

“We are in talks with other international brands, which are not in the portfolio of The Collective, as well. We are looking at other brands too,” he said.

When asked whether MFL will be the majority stakeholder in the proposed JVs, Dikshit said: “Not necessarily. We will take one brand at a time and a lot will also depend on the other brand partner. With Hackett, for instance, we will have a 50:50 JV”.

Commenting on expansion plans for Collective, he said: “Our plan is to have 12-15 stores in five years. All these will be company owned and each store requires about Rs 8-10 crore investment”.

MFL currently has ‘The Collective’ stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune.

“We will add four to five stores in the next 15 months and in two years we will reach a store count of 10,” he added.

Under its JV with Hackett, the first store will be opened in Delhi this month followed immediately by another store in Bangalore. The third store slated for FY13 will open in Chandigarh. (PTI)

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