French luxury houseHERMES inagurated today its first major flagship store in India, in the heart of Mumbai. The Hermes store is housed within a beautiful Victorian building, with a corner location in Horniman Circle, steps from the historical Fort area.
It is the first international luxury brand to open a street level stand alone store in Mumbai, most other international luxury brands being situated within malls and shopping galleries within hotels. The opening is perfecly reflecting Hermes’s different approach to retail locations than its major direct competitors. Mention should be made that this is a bold move, considering that the area has no other retail stores.
The new Hermes store in Mumbai covers three floors and includes all product lines, including home collections, watches, perfumery. On the top level a contemporary art gallery will be host to exquisit art events. The Hermes store is operated in joint venture with a local partner, a major holding company which, among other businesses owns the Ista Hotels chain in India. The company operates two other stores, one in New Delhi and a smaller one in Pune, within the Ista Hotel.
“I think India deserves a store as we have in London, Paris and Milan,” says Bertrand Michaud, the regional managing director of Hermès for India, the Middle East and South East Asia. Michaud and his team had been on a hunt for an appropriate location in Mumbai ever since they opened in Delhi three years ago.
They finally stumbled upon 15A Horniman Circle, the building which happens to be located at “point zero”, from where all distances in the city are measured. Architectural firm RDAI, which has also done up Hermès stores around the world, meticulously restored the facade and 3,500 square feet of interior space, incorporating the signature mosaic floors, wood and leather that are common across many of the brand’s outlets. The process has taken them 18 months and it is hoped that the store will inspire other businesses to help revive and restore the area.
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