UAE. The Dubai-based Top Brands has said it expects to have a minimum of ten stand-alone outlets for Arrow, the upper mid-market shirt brand, in the GCC within the next 12 months.
Six of these will be in the UAE, with Lamcy Plaza in Dubai hosting the first one and the second expected to be in Sharjah.
This followed the winning of the regional rights for Arrow by Top Brands, which also represents Colour Plus and Be! owned by India's Raymonds Group.
Arrow, which has existed for 150 years, is owned by the Phillips-Van Heusen Corp of the US.
For the regional alliance, Top Brands has signed with Arvind Brands, which also has the production rights for Arrow at its mills in India.
"We have been on the lookout for a mid-priced shirt brand, and Arrow represented the best fit. It has won a very high brand recall over the years," said Jatin Mulani, Top Brands Director.
"Apart from the UAE, we will be setting up outlets on our own in Oman and Qatar."
Apart from the formal shirts, Arrow's semi-formal and sporty range will be available in the region, as will the accessories and knitwear. Some local department stores have already been selling Arrow shirts for several the years. This, according to Mulani, will cease as soon as present stocks are exhausted.
"Our intention is to retail Arrow only through the exclusive outlets owned by us. This will be the best platform for the brand to develop on what has been achieved to date."
Arrow shirts will retail at AED80 (US$22) and upwards in the UAE. For its other franchises, Colour Plus and Be! Top Brands will shortly have new store openings at one of the new malls in Dubai. Both brands have been experiencing good growth numbers, the company said.
Many other Indian owned ready-to-wear brands are known to have been looking seriously at entering Middle East markets over the last few years. It is also during this period that fashion brands generally are being serviced through more sophisticated retail including monobrand stores.