Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Jewellery brand D'damas to expand reach in South
Bollywood actress Celina Jaitley displays the signature collection `Glitterati' from D'damas.
Chennai , May 23
JEWELLERY brand D'damas wants to expand its presence in the South. It plans to have 50 exclusive stores in operation countrywide by the end of the year, of which 12 will be in the South.
Speaking to Business Line, Mr Dharmesh Sodah, President, D'damas Jewellery (India) Pvt Ltd, said the company aimed to retail out of 1,000 outlets in total by December, and the target for the South is 200. As of now, its products are sold in 75 outlets in the South, and 400 nationwide.
From September, which heralds the festive season, D'damas also plans a big splash of advertising focused on the South. Television will dominate the advertising. The annual budget is Rs 25 crore. The South has not been given its due attention by national players in the jewellery business even though it was a major consumer of gold, Mr Sodah remarked.
In the South, Tamil Nadu topped in gold consumption with Kerala and Andhra Pradesh occupying second and third place, he said.
The company has four standalone stores, three in Mumbai and one in Ahmedabad, now. It is finalising franchises in Delhi, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Surat. "The next two months will see a lot of action," said Mr Sodah.
The location will dictate the retail model of the exclusive stores, Mr Sodah said. It could be a mall, or the high street, or even a shop-in-shop model, he said, adding that all three formats were operating in Mumbai. According to him, jewellery business is only now catching up with changing lifestyles and it is time the ambience of the retail outlets matched it.
D'damas has just signed up with retail chain Westside to sell its jewellery across all its outlets. It is also in negotiations with other lifestyle chain stores. The company also sells its brands through jewellers and multi-brand outlets such as Oyzterbay.
D'damas is a joint venture between Gemplus Jewellery Ltd, a part of the Gitanjali group, and Damas, the West Asia-based jewellery retail chain. It has several diamond jewellery brands in its portfolio including the IIFA Glitterati range, endorsed by Suniel Shetty, Mahima Choudhry, Simran, Akshay Kumar and Celina Jaitley and the Solitaire collection, endorsed by Amitabh Bachchan.
It also has some collections of contemporary gold jewellery.
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