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Saturday, Feb 14, 2004

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Giordano looks to outsource from India

Ratna Bhushan

New Delhi , Feb. 13

OUTSOURCING is clearly catching up within the retail industry. After Wal-Mart and JC Penney, now the Saudi Arabia-based apparel retailing major Giordano Fashions LLC too is scouting opportunities to outsource from India.

Mr Ishwar Chugani, Executive Director, Giordano Fashions LLC, told Business Line that the group had initiated talks with domestic apparel companies for outsourcing.

He, however, declined to mention specific names of apparel manufacturers Giordano was in talks with.

Mr Chugani added that plans to enter the Indian market as an apparel retailer have been put on the backburner this year.

"While we see good opportunity for ourselves in India, we want to first study the Indian market closely," he said. Giordano Fashions LLC is the master franchise holder and exclusive distributor of Giordano products in West Asia and North Africa. Giordano Fashions LLC now owns and operates over 80 stores in West Asia.

Giordano International, set up in 1981, has a presence across 30 countries in Asia, the West Asia, Australia and Europe, through 1,200 stores in 30 countries.

Meanwhile, Giordano's parent company — ETA-Ascon's Star Retail in the UAE and Kapico Holdings have signed a joint venture agreement to form Brewmaster Café, the master licensee that will operate Barista Espresso coffee shops across the Gulf region.

The $3-billion company ETA-Ascon and Kapico Holdings are part of Kuwait's Al Ghannam Group.

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