India Inc India Inc: Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:34

Reliance Brands brings Brooks Brothers to India

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RIL_retailIndian retail firm Reliance Brands has clinched a joint venture to bring one of America’s oldest men’s clothing brand Brooks Brothers to India.

A unit of Indian energy major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Brands will sell the US clothing retailer’s iconic suits and shirts in the country as part of the new JV in which it will  hold a 49 per cent stake.

Brooks Brothers’ products will now be available in major cities across India through exclusive mono-brand stores, which will carry the entire range, including clothing, sportswear and accessories, the companies said in a joint statement this week, without releasing any financial details of the agreement.

Brooks Brothers is privately owned by Italian billionaire Claudio Del Vecchio, son of the founder of Luxottica, the world's largest eyewear company whose brands include Ray-Ban and Oakley.

In India, where it makes its entry eight years after China, Brooks Brothers’ women and children wear will be introduced at a later stage.

Reliance Brands already has brand partnerships with others such as Diesel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hamleys Plc and Steven Madden Limited and offers brands like Kenneth Cole, Quicksilver, Thomas Pink and Timberland through 60 stores in the country.

Vecchio, chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers, said: “We have partnered with Reliance Brands because of their passion for the Brooks Brothers brand, their track record with other premium brands, their expertise in this sector and also their connectivity within India.”

International retail brands have been making inroads in India since the government eased foreign direct investment (FDI) rules for single-brand retailers, allowing overseas firms full ownership as opposed to a cap of 51 per cent earlier.

However, most retailers still prefer to tap into the country's expanding middle-class market through tie-ups with local players.

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