Italian retailer sets sights on Middle East
Avant-garde Italian hand baggage designer, Mandarina Duck, has opened the first of its distinctive mono brand stores in the UAE at Wafi City, bringing a full range of functional yet original luggage, handbags and accessories to the Middle East.
Mandarina Duck, which had previously only limited presence in the region through mixed use retailers, recently entered into an exclusive franchisee and distribution agreement with Middle East and Indian Subcontinent luxury goods agent, Euroluxe.
Already a success across Europe and Asia, Mandarina Duck has a distribution network of 110 mono brand shops and over 1000 multi-brand stores, directly employing 600 people with a further 1100 staff through allied industries.
This figure is set to rise due to the company’s continual franchising projects, of which the UAE forms the foundation for expansion throughout the Middle East.
“This the perfect time to launch Mandarina Duck in the region. The Middle East retail sector is witnessing rapid growth, and in particular in the luggage and luxury sectors. The UAE is ideally positioned as one of the world’s leisure and business hubs, which means travel is now a necessity rather than a luxury and the need for hand baggage accessories even greater,” said Xavier Bouin, Managing Director of Euroluxe LLC.
The UAE retail sector continues to grow, with annual sales in the industry estimated to reach $3.5 billion. This growth is supported by the upgrading of existing retail stores and the addition of state of the art new mega retail stores making space for new brands to move in.
It has been said that retail growth in the Gulf is increasing, at an average of 7.6% per year (2001-2005) with a growth of well over 400 international retail brands from less than 20 in 1985. Helping to drive this sector’s growth are the 300,000 millionaires in the Middle East that help contribute to the massive estimated US$2 trillion luxury market worldwide.
The UAE’s 471 sqft store will showcase the brands brightly coloured luggage, beautiful handbags, essential hold-alls, backpacks, laptop carry cases and accessories all made of deliberately artificial materials that are soft and light weight, yet tough and enduring. Mandarina Duck stands out for its individualistic materials and exuberant polychromy.