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Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004

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Louis Vuitton plans to expand presence to Mumbai, Bangalore

Neha Kaushik

New Delhi , March 16

WITH income levels in the country heading upwards, global luxury brands are growing at a brisk pace in India. After a good response from the Delhi market, Louis Vuitton, which is part of the world's largest luxury group LVMH, is now planning to expand its presence to Mumbai and Bangalore.

"We would be setting up an outlet in Mumbai by 2004, and in Bangalore subsequently," Ms Prasanna Bhaskar, Retail Manager, Louis Vuitton Trading India Pvt Ltd, said.

Though not revealing the company's actual sales in India, Ms Bhaskar said that its average transaction is about Rs 50,000-Rs 60,000 despite the company having an entry level pricing of Rs 15,000.

Another indicator of sales could be had from the experience of Louis Vuitton's range of gold-and-leather handbags, which are priced at Rs 1,98,000 and now have a waiting list of about 150-170.

And it is not the women alone who are buying. According to Ms Bhaskar, men account for about 22 per cent of sales at the outlet.

Keeping this in mind, the company has introduced the Damier Geant range of bags for men in India. The bags are priced between Rs 53,000 and Rs 1,50,000.

The last few months has seen a number of luxury brands such as Bvlgari and Hugo Boss make a beeline for the Indian market and are opening exclusive retail outlets in the country.

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