Oxford Ltd., the University’s global brand licencing arm which runs Oxford Shops, is planning to expand its range of merchandise sold in India six years after it was launched in the country.
The company is likely to add five new brand licence partners this year to sell University of Oxford branded products in India, which the University earns a royalty from.
In India, Oxford’s brand licencing is managed by Bradford License India, a joint venture between USbased Bradford Licensing LLC and Franchise India Group. Currently, brand Oxford is marketed in India by three companies.
After meeting potential partners in India, Managing Director of Oxford Ltd, Chris Evans, told Live Mint: “To date, brand Oxford was restricted to apparel, school stationery and school bags.
“We are now planning to get into home furnishing, textile, hard furniture and educational toys. Considering the rapid growth of retail in India, we are looking at two new brand licences for educational products and stationery, and three to four for home furnishing.”
As well as these items, Oxford University also sells products like tea, chocolates and cookies under the brand name.
Mr. Evans added: “These products are also sold in India. But the division is managed from UK directly. “India is one of the key territories for brand Oxford. The opportunity is huge. At present, it is among the top six countries. There’s no reason why it should not be among the top two.”
However, most of the Oxford products that are sold in India are made in China. Evans excused this by pointing out that while the Oxford Ltd. controls the quality and authenticity of products, it does not control sourcing.
Evans did admit that China was on the company’s radar, though, commenting: “We are working on opening a few dozens of Oxford stationery stores in China over the next few months. We’ll look at India later.”
As well as this, Evans said Oxford stands for education and imparting knowledge and would like to emphasise these characteristics in his work: “Everything that we do has relevance to the University.”
Aditya Badaya, Core Team Member for Project Access India, welcomed the news: “Oxford is one of the most revered international universities in India, and I think this is a great move by the University to branch out!
“The number of Indians coming to Oxford has been increasing every year, and such outreach programs further cement the place of the university in attracting the growing pool of Indians seeking education abroad.”
The first-year PPE student added: “I think it allows for Oxford to compete in popularity and brand recognition with top tier American universities, which have had a surge in popularity as favoured destinations for Indians over the past few years.”
The Oxford brand is licenced for merchandising across 80 nations.