x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Rosy retail vision spurs Jashanmal to grow

Jashanmal Group has embarked on a multimillion-dirham retail push across the Arabian Gulf, including the launch of four branded department stores.

The New York fashion store Kate Spade at Dubai Mall, a brand carried by Jashanmal Group. Sarah Dea / The National
The New York fashion store Kate Spade at Dubai Mall, a brand carried by Jashanmal Group. Sarah Dea / The National

Jashanmal Group has embarked on a multimillion-dirham retail push across the Arabian Gulf, including the launch of four branded department stores.

The company, one of the oldest retailers in the Middle East, plans to open 10 new stores by the end of this year and says it is focusing on the UAE, Kuwait and possibly Qatar.

Tony Jashanmal, the executive director, said the retailer was making a "substantial multimillion-dirham investment".

"We have plans to open 10 additional stores before the end of 2012," said Mr Jashanmal.

"Our primary focus is the UAE and Kuwait and we are also looking at opportunities in Qatar."

Jashanmal has more than 100 retail outlets in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. These include department stores, bookshops and fashion and footwear brands.

Mr Jashanmal said his company planned to open three new UAE stores this month.

These include a Jashanmal department store at Dubai Mall, a branch of the New York fashion store Kate Spade at The Mall of the Emirates and a branch of the British fashion outlet LK Bennett in Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall.

Four new Jashanmal department stores are planned in the UAE and Kuwait with the financing of the overall expansion coming through "group-owned resources", Mr Jashanmal said.

New brands will include the luxury goods maker Salvatore Ferragamo in Abu Dhabi and, in Dubai, the high-end shoemaker Stuart Weitzman and the US clothing company Brooks Brothers.

"By the end of 2012, the brands we represent are expanding exponentially in the region," said Mr Jashanmal.

Despite the frenetic growth of the UAE's retail industry, retail analysts said the sector was far from saturated.

Sana Toukan, the research manager for the Middle East at Euromonitor International, said there was "huge potential" for growth within the UAE's retail market.

"Some experts say that it is getting saturated but there are a lot of indicators to refute this," she said.

Ms Toukan said that potential for additional growth was partly down to more tourism to the UAE in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Euromonitor forecasts there will be 10.3 million tourist arrivals into the UAE this year, up from 9.7 million last year.

"There are a lot of indicators that say that the future is rosy. And that is what is pushing more stores and malls to open. There is definitely demand," Ms Toukan said.

bflanagan@thenational.ae