Once upon a time, buyers with deep pockets revelled in being 'spotted' at high-end stores buying luxury brands. That sentiment is now passé. Many luxury brands are now switching to home delivery for their high-end clients. They cite two reasons for this new trend - the lack of suitable rental space for the global big brands, and even if space is available in some metros, the skyhigh rentals the stores command.
Among the luxury brands that are resorting to home delivery services and personal fashion shows for their select high-end clients are Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jimmy Choo, Canali and Salvatore Ferragamo.
The companies are not only delivering the luxury items at home but they are also going out of their way to send a range of items for display at the client's home so that they can make the choice at leisure without having to move out of the comfort of their homes.
"Our regular client list is very small, a select few. As most of them are very busy and shy away from visiting a mall, we send items to their homes for selection. It makes sense for them and for us as well," a store manager at Gucci in DLF Emporio told Mail Today . However, he maintained that this service is for selective clients only and is not meant to push up sales at 'every drop-in customers'. "We cannot do it for the casual shoppers or for every drop-in customer as it will be a complete waste of time and energy.
We do it only when we know the people are genuinely interested in buying but are not doing it due to lack of time," he added.
Customers are also allowed to select the premier brands from brochures or from the corporate sites.
TSG International Marketing Pvt Ltd, a luxury marketing company, which operates stores for Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino and Alberta Ferretti is even arranging special private fashion shows for its highend clients.
According to a report by international real estate consulting firm Cushman and Wakefield, rentals in the country's high streets have gone up considerably - by as much as 15 per cent in some of the markets.
"In India there is a lack of good rental space for luxury retail.
Even if the space is available the rentals are so high that the luxury brands are shying away from opting for large space. No wonder then that home deliveries are becoming the norm," an executive at the French label Christian Dior said.
"The trend is more prominent in Mumbai where big corporates and celebrities opt for personal deliveries rather than go to a public place for shopping," she added.
The brand failed to find a suitable place in Mumbai despite the slowdown and finally opted for a store in Taj Mahal Palace Hotel last year.
In Pune, brands like Bottega Veneta, Canali and Jimmy Choo were unable to open stores due to lack of high-end malls.
Courtesy: Mail Today