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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Abercrombie & Fitch in India?! That's the Rumor...

And you thought its climate made India hot...wait until Abercrombie arrives!
When it has come to its expansion in the Asian market, Abercrombie & Fitch has up until now focused on the Far East and the Southeast; it operates locations in Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Singapore and it will open in Hong Kong in late-2012. But our favorite all-American brand may now be seriously considering bringing its cool appeal to the Subcontinent!

Abercrombie & Fitch has been in India on a retail reconnaissance mission...an exploration of the market. There are no plans set in stone, however: "We are not in a position to comment specifically about expansion into India. We can tell you that we are constantly evaluating new opportunities for our brands, including new countries, for expansion," offered an A&F spokesperson.[source] Naturally, Abercrombie & Fitch will eventually find its way into the Indian market. It may not be soon, but you can bet that there will be an A&F in the nation sometime in the 2010s before the decade is over...

India is, after all, another one of the world's fastest growing economies - factoring in an average growth rate of 10.4% in 2010 - and this ensures a continued growth in consumers with an expendable income (primarily upper and upper middle class people). And this growth is being taken into consideration by multiple international businesses. Brands like Chanel, Dior, and Fendi have been in India for a while now but they only operate, like, one store and have catered to the extremely small upper class consumer. Now that there is a slow rise in the middle class of people with money to spend, companies like IKEA and Starbucks are moving in. However, as the McKinsey Global Institute remarks, "While luxury goods makers may be able to sell to India's global consumers with little modification to their products, those selling to India's new middle class will need to be innovative to square the difference between the rising aspirations of consumers and their still-modest pocketbooks."[source] Still, India, along with China, ranks as one of the most important growth opportunities within the 2010s and 2020s and, as the MGI furthers, "Companies that fail to understand the unique desires and tastes of the new Indian consumer will miss out." By 2030, India is projected to surpass Germany as the fifth biggest consumer market! That's awesome!

Obviously, it is pretty smart to start evaluating future opportunities, while considering an entrance, in the Indian market. Abercrombie & Fitch is very cautious, nevertheless, and A&F expansion into India, whenever it will initiate, will be deliberately slow.

Imagine that...Abercrombie & Fitch in India!

Stay FIERCE!