Single-brand retail: Furla seeks DIPP nod, H&M may be next

The list of single brand retailers seeking an entry into the Indian market is expanding rapidly. After the proposals from IKEA, Pramod, Zara and Fossil, the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has received another foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal from Italian leather goods brand Furla. That apart, Swedish retail-clothing firm, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) is also expected to submit a proposal next week.

With IKEA's proposal getting almost all requisite approvals, the confidence of global players in single-brand retail trading has increased and experts see that more brands seeking an entry into India. According to sources, Italy's Furla SpA has submitted its proposal to set shop in India in partnership with Genesis Luxury Fashion Private Limited, an Indian firm.

"The company has filled its proposal for over Rs 6.6 crore of investment initially through Titus & Co law firm and it has said that it will expand its investment in a phased manner," the official said. Although 100 per cent FDI is allowed in the sector, the Italian firm has sought to hold only 51 per cent in the joint venture.

The Italian brand is currently present in 71 countries, with 320 single brand boutiques, 1,290 points of sales in departmental and specialised stores. The consolidated turnover of Furla stood at euro 173 million as on December 31, 2011.

Genesis is involved in distribution of luxury fashion labels in India. It is one of the India's largest international luxury conglomerate in fashion retailing with the company portfolio including labels like Bottega Veneta, Canali, Paul Smith, Just Cavalli, Jimmy Choo, Etro, Tumi and Armani. Furla's proposal says that its Indian joint venture — Furla India — will be engaged in import, marketing, distribution (including wholesale, retail and through all other channels), sale of or dealing in any manner whatsoever with the existing range of products under the 'Furla' brand in India.

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