There are now about 1.6 million Indian households that spend an average of $9,000 a year on luxury goods, Time Asia reports.
Jimmy Choo and Gucci are just the latest makers of luxury goods to target India as the next hot growth market, joining Hermès, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Piaget, Tiffany, Moschino and others. Last October, Chanel launched its brand by organizing an exhibition and haute couture extravaganza in New Delhi’s tony Imperial Hotel with models flown in from Paris. That same month, Swatch Group introduced its Breguet watches (average price: $30,000) to India, which it hails as one of the world’s most enticing growth markets.
In January, the Indian government gave upscale retailers a further boost by allowing foreign companies to own a controlling interest of 51% in joint ventures operating “single-brand” stores. Although multinational chains like Wal-Mart and Tesco remain effectively barred from India, the move is expected to make the country more appealing to retailers like Nike and Cartier that sell their brands in exclusive outlets.
Here’s some of what Time failed to report: 86% of the Indian population lives on under $2 per day; 44% lives on under $1 per day. And 25% of the population does not have enough money to eat adequately.