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TAPPING A NEW MARKET Peter Lau of Giordano
TAPPING A NEW MARKET Peter Lau of Giordano

Hong Kong-based apparel giant Giordano is now in Chennai

Before pitching tent in India, Giordano did a bit of snooping around. Peter Lau, chairman and CEO of Giordano International, instructed his staff to tail travelling Indians and find out their sartorial preferences. Armed with the findings, the Hong Kong-based men's, women's and children's apparel major, which has 1,800 stores around the world, launched its first Giordano store in the city and the country - at the Chennai Citi Centre Mall, early this month. For the time being, Giordano is restricting itself to men's and women's casual wear and a little bit of its famous accessories. Says Lau, "There is tremendous potential for kid's wear because Indian parents like to dress up their children. However, we have kept kid's wear out for now so that we can focus better on what we are doing." While Giordano is bringing in a whole range of casual wear, the emphasis is on apparel that will suit the Chennai heat. "We are drawing upon the experience we have had working in the Middle East," says Lau. Clothes, based on dry-tech technology, such as polo and crew T-shirts, track pants, sweatshirts, tank tops and shorts, have been stocked in generous measure. As many shelves will be allocated to linen apparel as well. The report of the `Peter Lau Reconnaissance Team' detailed the Indians' love for khakis and wrinkle-free wear. Which only means Giordano will hoard four varieties of khakis (cargo, flat front, twill and canvas). When asked how well-dressed the Indian man and woman are, Lau minces no words. He thinks only a small segment, constituted largely by those who jetset around the world, pays attention to fabric. "But this segment is growing, thanks to globalisation." Which is why Giordano is planning 30 more stores across the country in the immediate future.PRINCE FREDERICK

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