SAUDI ARABIA. The Malaysia-based fashion company Bonia Corporation is gaining a strong foothold in Middle East through local partner Savola Group with the opening of its flagship boutique in Jeddah recently.
The company opened its first boutique with a size of 2,529 square feet in February 2006 with a total investment of MYR2 million (US$550,000). This was followed up by three other stores opened in different parts of Jeddah.
Bonia Group Managing Director Albert Chiang said the company has plans to further expand to other markets within the Gulf region.
"Together with our business partner, the Savola group, we have definite plans to market our labels in countries such as Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon.
"This will also include Oman, Qatar, Syria, Turkey and UAE, particularly in Dubai," he said in a statement.
He said the vast population centres and growing demand for quality products will create a niche market for Bonia and the Carlo Rino brand, including other brands within the group.
Bonia is involved in marketing and distribution of high fashion leathergoods, men and womens footwear, men's apparel and accessories in Malaysia and other key Asian countries.
It has a retail presence in Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In Malaysia, the company enjoys a strong retail network with a chain of 37 boutiques and over 200 counters.
Bonia Corporation recently signed up with two acclaimed Italian designers Pierpaolo Simonut and Bruno Sturaro. Simonut and Sturaro, the founders and owners of a design house Studio Pelletteria Alessandra (SPA), have a niche in designing for top international names including Bally, Chanel, Moschino and Max Mara.
By teaming up with SPA, Bonia is seeing an infusion of creative ideas, technical know-how and current international fashion trends into its house lines.
In starting its franchise business, Bonia Corporation said it has developed strong technical and management back-up and training, besides it has a system of regular visits to the franchisees’ stores. Franchising is a rewarding business for the company, and it is already contributing up to 40% of Bonia Corporation’s annual sales. In Malaysia, almost all its 37 boutiques are under franchise programmes. Bonia offers both full and partial franchises.
The inhouse lines such as Bonia, Sembonia and Carlo Rino are designed and positioned to cater to the myriad of women in different categories, occasion, age and niche markets. The company also holds an international license for Valentino Rudy, Balenciaga, Roberta di Camerino, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club products in Malaysia and Singapore.