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Italian apparel label to boost its presence in Middle East
15
Oct '12
Looking at expanding its global presence, Italian vintage clothing label, Franklin & Marshall intends to increase the number of outlets in the Middle East from the existing three to up to 10, The Arabian Business quoted Giuseppe Albarelli, co-founder of Franklin & Marshall, as saying. 
 
The label, which has adopted its name from a US college, is now negotiating with several departmental outlets like Galeries Lafayette and House of Fraser, to enhance its presence in the Gulf market, Mr. Albarelli said.
 
He said Middle East is an attractive location for the brand for various reasons. While Europe is hit with financial crunch, Middle East remains to be an economically viable location for the brand, he added.
 
With around 50 percent of its population being under 30 years of age, Middle East consumers have a liking for Western brands, and also financial ability to purchase the same.
 
The firm, which clocked a turnover of about US$ 61 million during last year, operates three stores in Middle East including two in Dubai and one in Kuwait. It launched its third store in the GCC in Dubai Mall in association with the Kuwait-based Al Homaizi Group, this month itself.
 
The brand which is well-liked by European consumers in 15-30 age group for its vintage-college-style collection, exports around 90 percent of its products to Europe, Brazil, Asia and the Middle East, Mr. Albarelli said and added that the firm intends to grow the number of its outlets from existing 1,200 to 1,700 over next five years.
 
Franklin & Marshall was established in late 1990s by Albarelli and Andrea Pensiero, who drew inspiration from an old Franklin & Marshall top in a flea market in New York.
 
The company has entered into a licence agreement with the US college for using its name.
 

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