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Shirtmaker Double Two to open 'catalogue shops' in India

Family-run British brand will enter Indian market in Bangalore next year.

Double Two

Double Two

Double Two

Wakefield-based shirtmaker Double Two will expand into India next year, opening three shops in call centres and a flagship in a shopping centre in Bangalore.

One of the call centre shops will stock a selection of Double Two’s shirts, ties, cufflinks and knitwear. The other two will be “catalogue shops”, which will not carry stock.

Instead, customers will be able to use samples and sizing sets to choose what they want, and then order the items online. Orders will be delivered the next day in the Bangalore area.

The store sizes are still being confirmed, but they will be smaller than Double Two’s traditional shops at around 700 sq ft, compared with 1,500 sq ft.

“This will enable faster expansion,” explained Richard Donner, chairman of Double Two, who runs the firm with his son, John.

Double Two has formed a joint venture with local entrepreneur Anand Anamalai to acquire the shops, which are expected to open in February 2017.

It is also bidding for a flagship in the Phoenix Mall, Bangalore, and is in discussions with ecommerce company Flipkart to launch a localised website.

“The Modi government is cutting red tape, reducing import restrictions and building huge infrastructure projects such as roads, ports and modern railways and regional airports,” said Donner.

“A high percentage of people speak English and even feel part of the British way of life. Nearly half of India’s 1 billion people now have incomes that enable them to buy mobile phones, TV sets, cars and a good education. Bangalore is at the centre of this huge leap forward.”

Double Two has rented a 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Bangalore, and will hire staff and vans for the next-day delivery service. Retail staff will be hired and trained by the UK team.

Production will be from the shirtmaker’s established sources in the Far East and Indian subcontinent. Large bulk orders bought for the UK and Europe will be split to give smaller packages for India.

Double Two has 1,000 doors and 24 stores across the UK, in towns such as Grantham, Lincolnshire and Perth. It is also working on developing partnerships in China, but details have yet to be confirmed.


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