American clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch is to open its first store in the Middle East this year after announcing a joint venture with local retail business Majid Al Futtaim Fashion.
The American retailer will launch its Hollister brand in the third quarter of the year with a store at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, as part of its international growth strategy.
The fashion house will also launch its original namesake brand, Abercrombie & Fitch, in the UAE in 2014, also in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim.
Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, said: “We are very excited about the Hollister joint venture and the growth potential for both the Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands in the region.
“We believe that the Hollister joint venture, and the Abercrombie & Fitch joint venture that should soon follow, cement Majid Al Futtaim Fashion’s longstanding reputation as a strategic partner for the some of the world’s best brands.”
The U.S. brand has struggled in the last five years with shares falling 50 per cent since their peak in October 2007. The preppy label, known for targeting athletic and sporty students and teenagers, forecast an unexpected first-quarter loss last week.
The business will undoubtedly be hoping its first foray into the Middle East market boosts its full-year results.
“Majid Al Futtaim Fashion is delighted to be the UAE partner for Hollister and look forward to being the partner for Abercrombie & Fitch, a highly anticipated and iconic American brand,” said Asil Attar, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion.
“Both the Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch brands will be strong strategic fits underpinned by the region’s large demographic of young, brand conscious consumers,” he added.
Majid Al Futtaim reported an annual revenue of Dhs21.6 billion for 2012, a 10 per cent rise on the previous year.