Major Brands eyes affordable fashion space


March 14, 2012

Meghna Maiti Mar, Financial Chronicle

Mumbai, March 14, 2012

Major Brands India, the India partner of premium brands such as Mango, Charles & Keith and Aldo is now looking to add some heft in the affordable brands segment by inking a joint venture (JV) with France-based Happychic group. The JV expects to target the mass segment of apparel retailing with a diversified offering.

“The company is in talks with Happychic for a JV agreement,” said at least three officials in the know of the development. “Major Brands is looking to diversify into the mass segment to break the price-point barrier and use its expertise in Indian retail on a wider platform,” said industry experts.

An email sent to Major Brands India on March 13, 2012 seeking comments on the Happychic JV did not elicit any response till the time of going to press. When contacted at the “India Fashion Forum”, Christophe Ader, international development and partnerships supervisor of Happychic declined comment. “Major Brands is doing very well in the Middle East. The JV could be its India strategy to try out lower tier brands to increase profitability,” said Harminder Sahni, founder and MD at Wazir Advisors.

“Retailers dealing only with the high luxury brands become very restricted. The JV would be a sensible move to broaden the business opportunities,” said Devangshu Dutta, CEO at Third Eyesight, a consulting firm focused on retail and consumer products sector.

Major Brands has been the partner in India for international brands such as Aldo Accessories, Inglot, Le Senza, Nine West, Queue Up and Promod. Happychic has three brands in its portfolio — Jules, Brice and Bizzbee. While Brice is a menswear brand in France, Poland and Belgium. Jules is targeted at youth, while Bizzbee is a teens’ brand.

(This article appeared in the online version of the Financial Chronicle.)