Planet Retail is set to bring Monsoon, the UK-based high street fashion brand, popular for its ‘boho chic’ (bohemian) fashion, to India soon, said two sources privy to the development.
Planet Retail is owned by non-resident Indian V P Sharma and Samsonite’s Ramesh Tainwala.
The company has signed a franchisee agreement with UK fashion group Monsoon Accessorize. It has already launched a kidswear segment, through the shop-in-shop format, in company-run Accessorize stores, Monsoon’s sister brand. It also plans to launch a women’s wear segment in six months.
The 39-year-old brand, set up by Peter Simon, is known for casual wear targeted at young women.
Planet Retail plans to set up a couple of standalone 1,500-3,000 sq ft stores in metros and shop-in-shops in large Planet Retail-run stores, the sources said. When contacted, a Planet Retail spokesperson confirmed the development, but did not divulge details about the plans.
“India is a key part of fashion group Monsoon’s overseas plans. The group is looking at 200 stores in international markets,” a source said.
The retailer, which started operations in the US two years ago with the Accessorize brand, has sold the US licence to Retail Group of America, a subsidiary of Fawaz A Alhokair & Co, its current franchising partner across West Asia.
Monsoon operates 1,300 stores across 62 countries. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation before exceptional items dropped 11.7 per cent to £121.4 mn (Rs 1,036 crore) in the year ended August 27, 2011, while revenue stood at £651 mn (Rs 5,549 crore).
“There is a huge opportunity for Monsoon to tap into India, as there is no particular dedicated brand for women’s wear in the country. Only Esprit and Zara stand as close competition, in terms of dresses and tops for women. Indian brands such as Fabindia and W wouldn’t pose competition to the brand. Monsoon would find huge acceptability in India,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak Advisors, a retail consultant.
Other competitors for the brand in India would include Mango and Vero Moda.
Harminder Sahani, managing director of Wazir Advisor, said, “Monsoon is a successful high street fashion brand and has great potential to grow in India, as Zara and other brands are already doing very well.”
Planet Retail has brands such as Accessorize, Lavie, Debenhams, Next, The Body Shop and Nautika under its fold. It currently operates through the shop-in-shop, exclusive brand outlets and departmental store formats.