Superdry, the trendy UK label worn by the likes of the English footballer David Beckham, is bringing its high street fashions to the UAE this year. Its parent company, SuperGroup, has signed a franchise agreement with Al Khayyat Investments in Dubai to open 13 stores in the Emirates, with the first in Deira City Centre next month. Al Khayyat is investing about Dh18 million (US$4.9m) on expansion in the UAE, with plans to enter other parts of the region by early next year.
"Superdry is aimed at young people and we have a high population of young people here in the UAE and the GCC," said Ayman Hanbali, the marketing manager for retail at Al Khayyat Investments. SuperGroup is making its push into the UAE as existing retailers begin to bounce back from the economic downturn. Last year, tourism and consumer spending in the UAE slowed but as more malls came online in Dubai over the past two years, competition for customers grew. There are few statistics on the local fashion industry but consumer spending on garments, clothing and accessories in the UAE was about $4.8 billion last year, says the consultancy Euromonitor International.
Clothing and accessories sales are tipped to grow by 2.7 per cent to $5bn this year, Euromonitor data show. But Mr Hanbali said sales at Al Khayyat's other fashion stores had grown by 18 per cent this year, compared with the same period last year. "If we are in a recession period it's not going to last for long. It's not going to last forever," he said. Research conducted by the companies AMRB and TRU showed teens in the UAE spend an average of $71 a month on clothing, compared with the global average of $21, Mr Hanbali said.
Al Khayyat plans to open at least eight retail stores this year: three Superdry stores; three BinSina pharmacies; an outlet for the Argentinian retail brand La Martina; and a Burger Fuel restaurant. @Email:email@example.com