UAE clothing chain Max to open 20 more Saudi stores

A Max outlet at the Dubai Mall, the UAE's largest shopping center (Photo courtesy of the Dubai Mall)

UAE-based low-cost clothing retailer Max is expecting over the next year to open 20 more stores in Saudi Arabia, its biggest market in the Middle East, the firm’s chief executive told Al Arabiya News on Monday.

“Saudi Arabia is a very big value market and we have managed to penetrate into 13 cities there and we would [after the expansion] be connected in further to the smaller towns and cities,” said CEO Ramanathan Harihara.

Out of a total of the chain's 200 stores across the Middle East, 120 are currently in the kingdom, with a large presence in other countries including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

While Middle Eastern shoppers are well-known for their penchant for luxury and high-end brands, the firm claims large success in what it calls the “value fashion” segment – with its offerings including $8 t-shirts, $4 bras, and $10 dresses.

In addition to Saudi having one of the largest populations in the Middle East, the firm’s success in the kingdom stems from the larger low-end market segment, Harihara said.

“Because of the large population, the capital income in Saudi Arabia it is not the same as in Qatar or some of the other countries so it naturally means lots of value customers who are looking and seeking for low value buys,” he added.

Old adage

As one of the companies in the 17-firm privately-owned Landmark Group, which has numerous business in retail, hospitality and healthcare, the chain recently rolled out its online platform, landmarkshops.com, which recorded a 200 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue over the last fiscal year, according to a company release.

While many Middle East-based web retailers believe that the old business adage “Arabs don’t buy online” has rapidly changed, 65 percent of the firm’s online customers since the recent launch still eschew credit cards - ubiquitous in traditional online shopping markets such as Europe and North America - and instead opt to pay cash on delivery.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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