CARTIER expands in India

Three years from the opening of its stand alone mono brand in the Emporio Mall in New Delhi, French luxury jeweller CARTIER is planning a second opening in Mumbai. The brand plans to come up with 50-80 more points of sale and six to seven boutiques in 5-10 years’ time as the luxury market matures in the country.

In conversation with Financial Chronicle, Louis Ferla, Cartier’s MD for Middle East and South Asia, said, “We are looking at the Indian market very seriously. We plan to expand our business here but in a very qualitative manner.”

Although the brand has decided on its next destination, it is yet to finalise the location in Mumbai. “We are not just restricting ourselves to the offerings of DLF in Mumbai but negotiating with other malls as well.”

Cartier’s Mumbai boutique will be 300-500 sq m in size. “We look towards offering a uniform Cartier ambience and treatment to our customers worldwide. So, we go for a uniform look and size for all our stores across the world. Most of our boutiques occupy 300-500 sq m of area,” said Ferla.

He further added that the brand has already broken even at its Delhi boutique but is yet to make much profit. “Although we have broken even at our first boutique, the profit margin is not as much as we expected mainly due to high import duty and the expensive rental at DLF Emporio.”

Ferla finds import duties in India “abnormally high” compared to other countries. “In other countries the import duty fluctuates from 5-15 per cent, but in India it fluctuates from 20-40 per cent.” Ferla, however, said that business is growing consistently. “We have been growing at 35-40 per cent on an average in the last three years,” he said. Although the brand offers jewellery, watch and accessories, the key growth drivers in India are jewellery and watches.