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Designer Discounts

Concept store Le Mill taps into emerging markets by setting up a warehouse sale in Surat.

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Le Mill’s Pop-Up Outlet at VR Surat.

With luxury brands increasingly seeking newer markets and novel avenues for retail, Mumbai-based concept store Le Mill has decided to explore a territory hitherto uncharted by others of their ilk. Based on the American “Factory outlet” model, a “Le Mill Fashion & Home Pop-Up Outlet” has been set up at lifestyle centre Virtous Retail in Surat.

The outlet is housed in two separate 800 square-foot stores. Here, Le Mill’s collective of designers such as Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, Thakoon, Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, Rajesh Pratap Singh, and Savio Jon from last season will be on offer at up to 75 per cent discount on the original price. Decor items by Abraham & Thakore, Ranjit Ahuja, Sarita Handa and others will also be on sale.

“You can find women’s fashion pieces starting from Rs 1,400, and the kidswear, toys and home decor products are much lower,” says Cecilia Morelli-Parikh, curator and co-owner of Le Mill. Hosted for a period of three months by Surat-based Virtous Retail at The Arc Galleries, the outlets are clearly Morelli-Parikh’s way of tapping into the potential of Tier-II city customers. “Our brands are available in some of the best stores around the world such as Selfridges, Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman; and Bollywood’s leading ladies shop from us for their movies, promotions as well as personal wardrobes. We believe that Surat shoppers have a good understanding of fashion and trends, and we are excited to introduce them to brands which were previously inaccessible. Now, they can shop in their own city at heavily discounted and reduced prices,” she says.

As for exploring other emerging markets, a pattern most premium and luxury brands are following, Morelli-Parikh says that apart from setting up a flagship store in Delhi, the multi-designer store is taking the trunk show route to make retail forays into other centres such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh.

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