As part of its expansion plan, teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch targets the opening of flagship stores in Shanghai and Seoul during the course of this year. Dubai and the Middle East are also high on the company’s list of new markets.
The Ohio-based retailer currently operates only three stores in Asia but all in strategic locations, namely one each in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. At the end of February, the company announced the launch of the first flagship store of its surfwear brand Hollister in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 itself, thanks to a joint venture with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion. This has now been extended to the parent company as well and the first Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store is planned in Dubai for 2014.
More flagship stores for Abercrombie“Introducing Abercrombie & Fitch brings a fresh brand, which has already demonstrated huge global success, which we are in no doubt will continue with its introduction to the region,” assured Asil Attar, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion. Dubai is currently experiencing a run of teen brands that want to use the city as a strategic entry points for new markets.
“Dubai is the window for the same brands [that weren’t interested in Dubai ten years ago] to showcase themselves not just in the Gulf but to the rest of the world. They need to be in the world’s largest mall or some of the new shopping structures that are on the way,” explained Mohammad Al Madani, chairman and CEO of Al Madani Group, the sudden rush to Dubai for Gulf News.
Hollister plans to open 20 new stores abroad, including a few more in the United Arab Emirates, other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and an introduction of its brand with first stores in Japan and Australia.
Abercrombie & Fitch expects total expansion expenditures to reach 200 million dollars this year alone, with pre-store opening costs reaching around 30 million dollars. But previous expansion – mainly into Western Europe and Canada – has paid off as the retailer announced a fourth quarter profit in February that more than tripled, mainly due to sales from new international stores as well as lower product costs.
Foto: Abercrombie & Fitch