Luxottica to open sunglass stores in India

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) Real estate major DLF today said it has signed a franchising agreement with Italian eyewear group Luxottica for opening more than 100 stores of its Sunglass Hut retail brand in India.

The world's biggest eyewear maker will open the first India-based Sunglass Hut store this month, the country's largest real estate developer said in a statement.

It said the stores will be in select high-end malls and premium locations across the country.

Euro 15 bn Luxottica group is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of prescription frames and sunglasses in the premium and luxury segment.

The group owns 10 premium eyeware brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue and Revo. Luxottica has licence agreements with 20 top brands, including Burberry, Prada, Tiffany and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Luxottica currently operates over 2,000 Sunglass Hut retail stores across the globe.

In all, the company has over 6,000 optical and sun retail stores across Asia, China, South Africa, Europe and America.

Luxottica has been operating in India since 1999 when it purchased the ailing Ray-Ban from its then owner Baush&Lomb.

The company has lately started distributing its other eyeware brands through a wholly-owned subsidiary in India.

The company also has a local manufacturing facility. But now, DLF will take over entire distribution and retail of Luxottica's products.

The eyeware market has been rapidly growing in India. Besides several leading global brands, the domestic eyeware makers, too, have exploded on the scene trying to access different segments of the market.

For DLF, the tie-up with Luxxotica is significant as it will give the realty firm a toe-hold in accessory space and help it build a strong retail portfolio.

The real estate giant has been looking at tying up with several high-end brands in each category to launch itself in the domestic market as a major retail player.

It has already tied up with premium fashion brands Armani, Dolce&Gabbana and Salvatore Ferragamo. The company is also eyeing multi-brand retail and has been in talks with some major foreign retailer for a partnership, although a deal has not been finalised yet.

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