Another Indian Company Goes Into U.S. Retail

Not many people picked this up this tidbit that was printed here and here: Indian jewelry retail chain Tanishq plans to open at least ten stores in the U.S., starting with Chicago and New Jersey.  (Here’s a chain profile.)

With Samuels being purchased by Indian sightholder Gitanjali – and Gitanjali promising future retail acquisitions – we can now officially call Indian companies branching into in U.S. retail a trend.  As JCK columnist Ben Janowski noted in this month’s JCK: “I can imagine Indian suppliers now saying: ‘If we’re going to get beaten up by major retailers in the United States, we might as well be retailers ourselves.’”

This is the kind of thing that caused outrage in years past – a wholesaler? Buying a retailer? — but is now pretty common. Still, Titan/Tata, the parent company, is an impressive one, with holdings in several different industries. It is also a non-sightholder. (An email from Titan says: “It’s still very early days for our initiative. We are in the process of finalizing our plans for the United States. We shall be in a position to share the details of our plans in a month or so.”)

While industry consolidation is likely the wave of the future, this doesn’t mean it all will work. Nehal Modi, CEO of Gitanjali’s U.S. arm, was right on target when he told me: “I don’t think everyone should view this as a business model until it’s proven. It shouldn’t be acquisition just for acquisition’s sake. It should make sense for both parties.”

As De Beers and LVMH have found, just opening a store does not mean the product “will fall off the shelves.” We’ll see if this latest market trend does indeed “make sense.”

JCK News Director