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Tommy Hilfiger, the wholly owned by PVH Corp has been grabbing headlines in India of late for having acquired Murjani Groups direct interest in the Tommy Hilfiger business in India. The transaction includes the buyout of the Murjani Groups license for the Tommy Hilfiger trademarks in India and the acquisition of its 50 per cent interest in Arvind Murjani Brands (AMB). AMB has been the apparel sub licensee of the Tommy Hilfiger brand since its introduction in the Indian market. Arvind is the other partner in AMB. The reconfigured joint venture will continue its existing businesses, as well as take on the management of the other sub licensees in India. This move establishes the Tommy Hilfiger Groups direct interest in India and builds upon a pre-existing partnership with Arvind, a seasoned leader in the Indian apparel business. Fred Gehering, chief executive officer of the Tommy Hilfiger Group says, The new agreement is in line with similar actions that the Tommy Hilfiger Group has taken in other international markets, in support of its strategy of consolidating brand management and approaching markets in a more coordinated manner. The key to success in any developing market for a luxury brand is the emphasis on execution. International brands need to deliver the global brand promise to Indian consumers consistently, without any local dilution so that Indian consumers get the same international shopping experience in India every day. Secondly, front end team IS the brand. In experiential marketing, the brand is its people at front end. Retail staffers become the brand ambassadors of sort and must fit in with the brand elements. To the consumers of the brands, retail staff should appear more as people like us and not mere servants. Otherwise consumers may not take their help or suggestions. Extreme focus on recruitment, grooming and regular training of retail team is required including regular foreign exposure.

Lastly, Retail Identity is very important! The Tommy Hilfiger retail stores in India stay true to the brands appeal that combines contemporary details for a modern lifestyle. The look of any store replicates the neoclassical architecture of Tommy Hilfigers freestanding stores worldwide and aptly reflects the fun, youthful and energetic image of Tommy Hilfiger product lines. Tommy Hilfigers now believes that direct involvement in the Indian market will help them leverage our capabilities in merchandising, store design, sourcing, etc. And the Indian consumer will benefit from the increased synergies. We have an ambitious retail store roll out planned for Tier-I and II cities over the next few years. The retail real estate landscape in India is somewhat challenging, with many international brands vying for a fixed number of locations. However, we are focused on securing leases in the most upscale, highly trafficked locations in the most important cities across India. He says the deal will enable them to add efficiencies, better align the sub-licenses with the master brand and provide additional funding for retail development. We will continue to offer the Indian consumer the full Tommy Hilfiger lifestyle, while looking at future opportunities for retail growth. Currently, there are 80 Tommy Hilfiger stores across major Indian cities, including several in Tier-II, II cities. The strongest point of Tommy Hilfiger is their Mens section and are a little on the lower side in the ladies section because of Indians mentality and their dressing style. Tommy never spends money on advertisements because they believe that a brand should be known for the quality they give. Tommy Hilfiger Apparels India, the first super premium international brand to arrive in India, is now expanding its product portfolio with the introduction of bags and shoes. In addition to its apparel range they are introducing two more products to make a strong lifestyle statement. Manish Saxena, COO, Tommy Hilfiger Apparels India says, Both make strong lifestyle statements and bring in the required pep to the brand in terms of style and fashion. They complete the look. The company has no manufacturing capacities in India as they truly believe that being an international brand, their customers in India should experience and get

the same feel as he would by picking up a Tommy Hilfiger product anywhere in the world. The product is an integral part and it needs to be the same everywhere. We are therefore only operating as an import model. We distribute all through a single warehouse and we have no distributors in the chain. We are at 50 doors currently across 13 cities. While a large part of this distribution is in the metros, we are also making a foray into the Tier II cities that is proving exciting and promising, concludes Saxena