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Mandarina Duck sets sights on Middle East
Source: BI-ME , Author: Moussa Ahmad
Posted: Thu August 9, 2007 12:00 am

UAE. Avant-garde Italian hand baggage designer, Mandarina Duck, has opened the first of its distinctive mono brand stores in the UAE at Dubai's 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 1,100 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.

The UAE retail sector continues to grow, with annual sales in the industry estimated to reach US$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 first 471 square foot store in the UAE 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.

Note: Started in 1997 in Dubai by Xavier Bouin, Euroluxe was created to offer a regional office for the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent for luxury brands who are looking for a professional and ethical approach. In 1997, Euroluxe started with its first brand Caran d’Ache. Today, Euroluxe serves the interests of 12 prestigious brands divided into three departments, writing instruments, watches & jewellery; fragrances; and leathergoods. In 2005, Euroluxe teamed up with the Al Tayer group to create a joint venture; Euroluxe Middle East. The new company is adding two more activities; regional distribution and retail through boutique opening.

Euroluxe Middle East distributes Caran d’Ache, Lancel, Mandarina Duck, Lamarthe,Ventura, Vulcain, Caron, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Penhaligon’s in UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen, Azerbaijan, India and Iraq.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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INTERNATIONAL. "I believe that in the wake of the Gaza war and the basis on which the ceasefire was established, a new momentum for peace negotiations might have been created."
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QATAR. Price increases may suggest a potential overheating of the real estate sector. Closer analysis, however, indicates that the increase is still within the fundamentals of Qatar's fast growing economy and rapid population growth.
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