Ebony Retail enters speciality retailing

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New Delhi, Dec 14: Ebony Retail, the retail arm of the DS Constructions group, today announced its foray into speciality retail and will open 20 outlets pan-India over the next two years, infusing an investment of Rs 120 crore.

The company entered into strategic partnership with France-based leading furniture brand Gautier and will open the the first home adornment outlet, spread in the area between 20,000 to 40,000 sq ft, at Noida tomorrow. ''We will begin from the northern part of the country and then move towards Western cities, including Mumbai and Pune,'' Ebony Retail CEO and Director Lalit Kumar told reporters.

The company plans to clock a turnover of Rs 400 over the next two years, Mr Kumar said.

''We are happy to partner with Ebony and the entire range of authentic Gautier products would be made available to the consumer here,'' Gautier Chairman and Managing Director Dominique Soulard said.

Ebony will target youth and kids through these speciality outlets.

Ebony is also eyeing other formats like kid's wear, women clothing, health and beauty.

Ebony was unable to break even till about six to eight months ago and the promoters were reportedly looking at various options to raise funds for the business.

In the kids' wear vertical, the company plans to open 300 outlets by 2010 with the first being in mid-2008.

The foreign company for kids wear is expected to be finalised in January next year.

''The tie-up with foreign companies would allow complete operational control in India,'' Mr Kumar said.

These small format stores spread over the area of 2,000 sq ft would target kids up to the age of 12 years.

At present, Ebony operates a chain of six department stores in Delhi, Noida, Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Amritsar.

Gautier offers a wide range of furniture products at 300 stores in over 50 countries. The company's worldwide sales have exceeded 160 million euros and has three manufacturing facilities in France.


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