UAE's Max Fashion aims to triple network of stores

CEO Ramanathan Hariharan is aiming for 750 outlets and annual revenue of $3bn within five years
UAE's Max Fashion aims to triple network of stores
By Salma Awwad
Sat 11 Jan 2014 02:30 AM

UAE homegrown brand Max Fashion is aiming to triple the number of stores in its network to 750 within five years, in a bid to boost its revenue to $3bn per year, the company’s CEO told Arabian Business.

Currently valued at $1.2bn, the ten year old brand has has opened 250 stores across 15 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and India.

With aggressive expansion plans of more than tripling its outlets and reaching a $3bn status in just five years, Max is showing no signs of slowing down.

“We will be able to reach 750 stores in about five years. India alone is growing 40 to 50 stores per year as the population multiplies and the UAE will go from 26 to 40 stores,” said CEO Ramanathan Hariharan.

The brand said it currently has around 23m shoppers per year, each spending an average of $41 per visit.

“There is a distinction between cheap fashion and value fashion,” he stated. “When you give a combination of quality, price and fashionability, you get a very winning formula. And when you drive it harder and harder, the consumer starts feeling it, and trusting the brand more.”

The level of success the brand has achieved is well above what it first forecast when the business plan was first put together. “We had a five year business plan which was possibly doing about $150m over the entire five years. We did not foresee this level of success at all and in about five years we landed in about $350m,” Hariharan recalled.

However, the growth was not just mere luck, rather a carefully calculated and planned, cost conscious effort.

“We saw that there was an opportunity to further segment the fashion retail business in the region.  We don’t compromise on product and quality and we give value to the consumer, and we build all of our costing on the back of it,” Hariharan explained.

“When you build an organisation you have to keep your cost in mind. Know that you are a value player and you have to keep your costs under control, otherwise you can’t offer value to the consumer,” he continued.

“More fashion, More value” is the brand’s prided banner, a movement that they claim to have started and defined in this region.

“We wanted to be a brand that defines that value fashion segment, which was non-existent at that time in the Middle East. So you used to have discounters, like Carrefour, that occupy the discount segments, but there was no organised value fashion segment. We started defining what the value fashion is,” Hariharan said.

Many have tried to follow suit, such as George and Matalan, but Hariharan said no one was able to reach the same level of success in the region.

“We are still by far the leader in the market because we started early and we could penetrate better. We also have the understanding of the consumer preferences. We are localized and since it’s a homegrown brand, we understand the consumer far better,” he stated.

Max Fashion is part of the Dubai-based conglomerate the Landmark Group.

For all the latest fashion trends from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.