Karl Lagerfeld prepares for Middle Eastern expansion

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Fashion label Karl Lagerfeld has signed a deal with luxury business specialist, the Chalhoub Group, to open a series of stores in the Middle East, as the iconic designer continues the global expansion plan of his eponymous label.

The five-year agreement between the two parties includes the opening of ten new stand alone Karl Lagerfeld concept stores and fifteen shop-in-shops by 2018. “The Middle East is a key area of focus in our phased global roll-out of Karl Lagerfeld stores,” commented Pier Paolo Righi, CEO and president of Karl Lagerfeld..

"We have prolonged business relationships with numerous clients in the Middle East, and we're particularly excited to partner with Chalhoub Group Retail as the region's retail specialist. Together we will leverage Chalhoub's business market experience to expand Karl Lagerfeld's retail network and cater to our customers in this key market.”

“We believe that by combining our expertise with Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic vision and strategy, we will be able to build a successful brand in the Middle East region and respond to customers’ needs and aspirations,” commented Patrick Chalhoub, co-ceo of Chalhoub Group, which controls a number of luxury stores in the region from labels such as Marc Jacobs, Lanvin and Ralph Lauren.

The first two shop-in-shops are set to open in the Stars Avenue Mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, next month and will feature Karl Lagerfeld's spring collections. Karl Lagerfeld's first stand alone store will also be opening next month, in the Lagoon Mall in Doha, Qatar and will offer the labels full product range.

Righi adds that the Karl Lagerfeld expansion in the Middle East is also depended on securing the proper locations, with Dubai being a 'top priority,' as a popular vacation and shopping destination, with the group currently searching for the right location in two shopping centers.

He believes that Karl Lagerfeld has the potential to expand to 100 different locations across the globe, with plans to open 100 new stores over the next 5 years. During the past year, Karl Lagerfeld has opened 17 new stand alone stores in Europe and Asia, with plans to open 2 new stores in China and a second store in Berlin over the next few months.

This news comes a few weeks after American holding company PVH acquired a minority stake in Karl Lagerfeld, which includes the the right of first offer to franchise the Karl Lagerfeld label for North America.