Bang and Olufsen, Danish manufacturer of audio-visual products, will expand its store network in the Middle East, in hopes of doubling its turnover in the region over the next two years. Peter Sommer, area manager for Middle East and Africa, said that the company would open six new stores in Bahrain, Cairo, Kuwait and the UAE in the next 16 months.
The Cairo and Bahrain locations are scheduled to open next month. The UAE outlets will supplant the company's old stores in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai, where a new branch was opened recently in Town Center, Jumeirah. The company announced its plan to include Dubai in its world tour exhibition to mark Bang and Olufsen's 75th anniversary.
"We are looking at a double turnover in a reasonable future (three years), but it can happen only if we have a presence here," Sommer commented. "In general, we want to focus on the local environment which we have not reached out to in the past. We would like to establish shops and create brand awareness," he added.
Bang and Olufsen boasts 12 fully owned national sales companies in Denmark and has more than 2,000 dealers across 40 countries. Major competitors for this electronics specialist include Loewe and Bose, which also occupy the niche market for designer brands in the audio-visual industry.
Bang and Olufsen's 1999 turnover hit Dh7.8 million, the lion's share of which came from the its domestic market, as well as the US and EU markets. The Middle East's share has been marginal, despite the company's presence in the region for over 30 years, Gulf news reported.
"A lot of Danish companies go to neighboring countries such as Europe, then onward to the U.S. and the rest of the world. We have been very focused in the European market in the past, but now we are seeing the huge potential in the Middle East for branded products," Sommer conveyed. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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