Italian vintage clothing brand eyes MidEast expansion

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Franklin & Marshall co-founder Giuseppe Albarelli.

Franklin & Marshall co-founder Giuseppe Albarelli.

Franklin & Marshall, the Italian clothing brand that takes its name from a US college, plans to open up to ten stores in the Gulf as it looks to expand its international footprint, its co-founder has told Arabian Business.

The firm, which currently has two outlets in Dubai and one in Kuwait, is in talks with several department stores, including House of Fraser and Galeries Lafayette, to grow the brand in the region, said Giuseppe Albarelli.

“The Middle East is very interesting for us, for several reasons,” he said. “We know the situation in Europe and we know which countries have potential [because] of their good economical situation.

“There is a taste for Western brands in the Middle East and 50 percent of the population is under the age of 30, so for us it could be a perfect market in terms of brand and those that can afford it,” he added.

Italian designers Albarelli and Andrea Pensiero established the clothing brand after finding an old Franklin & Marshall top in a New York flea market in the late 1990s.

The firm, which had sales of around US$61m last year, has a licence agreement with the US-based college to use its name. It is popular among 15 to 30-year olds in Europe for its vintage-college-style clothing.

The clothing company is ramping up its expansion across Europe, where it generates around 90 percent of its sales, along with the Middle East, Brazil and Asia, said Albarelli. It hopes to increase its number of stores from 1,200 to 1,700 in the next five years, he added.

Franklin & Marshall opened its third outlet in the GCC in Dubai Mall in October 2012 in partnership with the Kuwait-based Al Homaizi Group.

“In the next five years we’d like ten stores, mainly in the GCC countries,” said Maen Merheby, retail director for Multitrend, a unit of the Al Homaizi Group.

“There are opportunities outside the GCC that we are exploring in the long term but at the moment they are not on the table because of the political unrest.

“We’re looking at tying up with House of Fraser in Abu Dhabi and we are exploring opportunities with Galeries Lafayette, so we’re looking at expanding in parallel between standalone stores and department stores,” he added.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Hisham

The figures seem good to them as they only look at purchasing power and average age. What they don't realize is that the market for "urban" clothing brands is not that large in the UAE and Qatar. Saudi maybe, they are a bit more keen on these types of clothes, but then again, are heavily inspired by what 50 cent and eminem are wearing. And that's not F&M. For UAE it's not high street enough and "too middle-market", meaning it's not expensive enough to draw one crown, and not cheap anough to draw another...

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

Will the emirate ever be smoke free? We spark up the conversation...

4
Behind the scenes at Rolls-Royce

Behind the scenes at Rolls-Royce

In the ten years since BMW relaunched Rolls-Royce, sales of one...

2
The great escape: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

The great escape: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

CEO Middle East checked into the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai...

2
Most Discussed
  • 24
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held accountable...so thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 23
    Baby NOT on board?

    Some of you cry babies need to get your own personal apartments on the plane ! You cry more then the babies I have seen in my travels. LOL more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 9:10 AM - Jim
  • 21
    Israel “must be punished” over Gaza, says Dubai police chief

    This high moral ground that Mick is talking abt sound very familiar. May I remind Mick that the US & its British ally alone killed over 1 million innocent... more

    Thursday, 7 August 2014 4:12 PM - Mathew