EXCLUSIVE: Landmark’s Splash to expand in Africa

Retailer says it will use franchise deals to open outlets in Libya, Kenya; eyes Far East
EXCLUSIVE: Landmark’s Splash to expand in Africa
Splash CEO Raza Beig.
By Daniel Shane
Tue 22 May 2012 08:51 AM

UAE-based Splash, a mid-market fashion retailer and a unit of Landmark Group, is planning to enter a number of African markets via franchise agreements, the firm’s CEO told Arabian Business.

The business, which sells a mixture of Western and its own fashion brands, has signed deals to open outlets in Libya and Kenya, as well as Sri Lanka, Raza Beig said.

“In the next 18 months we'll be in about in another 15 or 16 cities,” he said, adding that the African continent will be the “first concentration”. The retailer’s only presence in Africa at the moment is in Egypt, where it has two outlets.

Beig added that Splash was also eyeing Far Eastern markets. “There's also a lot of dialogue from the East, but we've not yet finalised it,” he said.

When expanding into international markets in the past the firm has typically invested its own cash, Beig said, but is now instead seeking franchise partners to do so.

"In Egypt when we went in we put our own money in, in Lebanon we went in we put our own money in. But now we've decided we're going to take the franchise route,” he said.

“It's easier and the person on the opposite side understands their markets very well and they can share the risk.”

Beig did not rule out the possibility of Splash at some point in the future expanding into more developed retail markets, such as Western Europe.

"We don't know what's going to happen in the West in the next 5-10 years - someone might come up to us and say we want your franchise, and we will give it,” he said.

Splash, established 19 years ago in UAE emirate Sharjah, is part of Micky Jagtiani's Dubai-based conglomerate Landmark, whose other brands include retailers Homecentre and Babyshop and no frills hotel chain CityMax.

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