Fashion chain takes it to the Max

UAE born value clothing chain Max Fashions is in the midst of a major expansion across the Middle East, Africa and India with an aim to open at least 40 stores this year.

The UAE-born value clothing chain Max Fashions is in the midst of a major expansion across the Middle East, Africa and India, aiming to open at least 40 stores this year.

The brand, which opened its first branch in Abu Dhabi in 2004, now operates 225 stores in 15 countries.

It opened about 40 stores last year and achieved growth of about 20 per cent - figures it intends to match this year with openings in India, the GCC, Africa and Turkey.

"I think it must be the only one in the region which is a billion dollar home-grown brand," said Max's chief executive, Ramanathan Hariharan.

"We don't have official figures but this must be one of the top brands which has grown from the region which is home-grown and has expanded to other parts of the Middle East and Africa," he added.

About half the outlets opened last year were in India and a number were across the GCC, but it also expanded into countries swept up by the Arab Spring.

"We opened in Libya immediately after the crisis," said Mr Hariharan.

The expansion, through a franchise partnership, was planned before the revolution, he said, and the outlet was almost ready to open before the crisis.

"Immediately after the revolution, the franchise remobilised and opened the store in a very short time. Libya, is a growing economy and considerable investments are taking place for rebuilding the economy. We are expanding into all countries in North Africa and thus, Libya is an absolute choice."

The brand also added about five stores in Egypt, according to Mr Hariharan.

It has started to turn its attention to sub-Saharan Africa, with two outlets in Nigeria and aims to focus more on the region, opening between five and 10 stores there this year.

"When brands like us go into Africa we are trying to change the market because today retail is not as much organised there so it gives us an opportunity to be the first mover and start developing those markets and secondly in terms of the overall GDP growth and the upwards mobility of the people," said Mr Hariharan.

He expects Max's momentum in Africa to start building in the next two to three years.

"The rate of growth that these African countries will give us could be far, far higher in the next three to five years."

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.