American cult bike-maker Harley-Davidson is preparing to accelerate its India engagement by opening brand stores across top metros, while working on boosting exports to the US and countries across Europe.
Peter Mackenzie, MD for Harley-Davidson’s India and China markets, said that the company is bullish on growth prospects in India and would strengthen operations. Harley currently retails its products through 26 stores, but Mackenzie said it has plans for an expansion through a very different retail concept. These would be stores that would deal in specific Harley apparel for adults and other merchandise. “These stores will not sell motorcycles. The idea is to sell apparels in high-end shopping malls where there is heavy footfall. The stuff being sold here will not carry heavy branding from Harley, but will be subtle and less bold.”
The company is looking at partnerships for this retail expansion and will begin with 12 such stores that will come up in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai. “We plan to have a lot more such stores.” Harley also sells specific merchandise through its motorcycle stores, but this is aimed at the enthusiasts. “These are heavy on branding.” The company has also set-up a manufacturing operation at Bawal in Haryana to make some of the models that it sells locally. Bikes that are exported to the US and Europe are also made here.
Article Source : TimesOfIndia