Dubai-listed Marka adds Carvern clothing franchise, and plans to open seven stores in region

Dubai-listed Marka Holding has added another franchise to its roster.

It signed a deal with the Paris-based clothing brand Carven, with plans to open seven stores by 2018, including in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. The first outlet will open in the second phase of City Walk in Dubai this quarter.

Carven will make its debut in the UAE with its autumn/winter 2015 collection of men’s and women’s lines, said Henri Sebaoun, the chief executive of Carven.

Retail sales of apparel in the UAE reached US$13.5 billion last year and are expected to grow to $15.4bn next year, according to the research group Euromonitor International.

The apparel market in the country is dominated by the Landmark Group, which operates the Splash, Max and Babyshop brands, Sweden’s H&M and Spain’s Zara.

Fatemah Sherif, a research analyst with Euromonitor, said that the appetite for fashion brands in the UAE continues despite a slowdown in the economy as consumers in the UAE are savvy about fashion, and brand- conscious.

Last week, Marka added the French jeweller House of dinh van to its portfolio of fashion, sports and entertainment brands. Its other brands include the indoor children’s entertainment company Cheeky Monkeys, restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi and sports memorabilia store Icons. It currently operates 37 shops.

Marka posted a smaller loss for the second quarter, which declined to Dh2.14 million compared with Dh8.3m in the first quarter. It expects to enter profitability next year.


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