Finnish retailer Marimekko is embarking on its international expansion of the Middle East with its local partner, BinHendi Enterprises, by opening its first store in the stylist Jumeirah district. There are later plans to further extend operations to Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The pair hopes to open a total of eight stores across the Gulf region by the end of 2019.
BinHendi Enterprise has more than 40 years of experience in retailing international fashion and lifestyle brands in the Middle East and India, while also owning and operating restaurants and cafés in Dubai.
“Together with them, we are setting out to seek a foothold for Marimekko in what for us is a totally new market area. As with our other international partners, we will build a network of stores step by step on a solid foundation. This is long-term work, and achieving the position we are aiming for will take several years,”comments President and CEO of Marimekko, Mika Ihamuotila.
The stores will be owned by BinHendi Enterprises and their location, visual aspects and concept as well as local marketing, will comply with international retail brand’s policies. With BinHendi’s experience in retail and restaurateurs as well as the fluid portrayal of Marimekko’s strong idiosyncratic design through their print and colour products, as well as in the store design, the collaboration unveils a new super retail-eatery.
The first store is located in the new Boxpark shopping mall with an in-store café attached. Another store is to be opened in the Dubai Mall during April 2015.
Chief strategy officer of Marimekko, Päivi Lonka, said: “The UAE is an attractive market for us, famous for its excellent shopping opportunities. The region has a great deal of local purchasing power.
Dubai is particularly interesting because it is a busy shopping destination for tourists, attracting visitors from around the world. For these reasons, the brand’s recognition factor can be cultivated there globally on a very broad scale.”
Marimekko is a Finnish design company, founded in 1951, renowned for its original prints and colours. The company’s product portfolio includes high-quality clothing, bags and accessories as well as home décor items ranging from textiles to tableware.
The bold print brand has more than 140 stores, in about 40 countries around the globe. The key markets are Northern Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
Ihamuotila added: “I am delighted that we have succeeded in building Marimekko into a brand able to attract retail-sector players throughout the world. We have concentrated in our expansion into the international market primarily on regions with plenty of growth potential.”