UAE based luxury retailer Jashanmal to expand in GCC, Iraq, India

UAE-based wholesaler and retailer of luxury fashion brands such as Porsche Design,Calvin Klein, Salvatore Ferragamo, LK Bennett and Bally, Jashanmal Group, is on the lookout for acquisitions and joint ventures within the region to grow by between 15 and 20 per cent every year despite the ongoing global economic slowdown, one of its as reported by ‘Emirates24|7′. 

Jashanmal Group, which was founded in Basra (Iraq) in 1919, is a veteran retailer in the Middle East and eyeing expansion within the region and beyond in the coming years. “We’re targeting the Middle East, primarily the GCC countries, India, and other Arab countries such as Jordan, Syria and Iraq [for expansion],” Jashanmal said. “We always dream about Iraq – that’s where we started and we hope to one day go back to our roots,” he said.

He added that the group was happy with its capital position, and was not looking for any additional source of funding for making those acquisitions or to fund the group’s expansion plans.The group is eyeing a growth of up to 20 per cent per annum in the future, he said. “Let’s put it this way – we grow between 15 and 20 per cent every year. That’s what we think we can do in the future as well.” 

The company has a network of more than 100 retail stores including department stores, bookshops and fashion and footwear brands across the region. Last week, the group launched LK Bennett, a woman’s clothing and footwear brand based out of UK, in Dubai’s Mirdif City Centre, and has plans to launch another five international brands by early next year. Jashanmal will be re-launching Bally, the Swiss shoe brand in the UAE with a new store, also to be located in the Mirdif City Centre while deals for four other US retail brands to open stores across the UAE early next year are also in pipeline. 

The group is bullish on the UAE’s future in global retail, especially with the kind of infrastructure offered by Dubai. “As Dubai has expanded, with its many entertainment facilities and its trait as a family place with good weather for seven to eight months a year, many GCC residents prefer to travel to Dubai during their holidays,” Tony said, maintaining that growth in UAE tourist numbers has continued unabated despite the global slowdown. 

“We have two different kinds of customers – Gulf nationals; and residents and tourists. We have been witnessing an increasing number of GCC family tourists coming down to the UAE, particularly to Dubai, and that was happening even before the Arab Spring,” he said. “Moreover, as many European countries do not provide [tourist] visas to maids accompanying Gulf residents, many families that are dependent on maids avoid going there, and Dubai is their chosen destination,” he added.

“Our customer profile has been changing over the years – while Gulf nationals and tourists from surrounding countries (Iran, India, Pakistan, etc.) were always there, along with Russian expats and tourists, now we also have the Chinese,” he said. “The market hasn’t decreased though – customer profile varies, but the overall market has constantly grown.”