Back to Basics Strategy pays off for Giordano

  • Fashion retailer records regional growth of 18 per cent in first ten months of 2010
  • Plans to open at least 15 more stores around the region in 2011
  • Customer loyalty programme contributes to one fifth of sales

Bright things are in store for international clothing retailer Giordano. The company today announced better-than-expected results for its MENA markets for the first ten months of 2010, recording 18 per cent growth in the year to date. This upswing has been driven by prudent inventory management, cost controls and expansion; and is supported by increased consumer demand for Giordano’s fashion essentials across its 190 stores in the region.

Saudi Arabia was the fashion retailer’s strongest regional market, posting over 25 per cent sales growth, buoyed by the opening of new outlets in the cities of Qatif, Hofuf and Jizan, as well as the launch of concession kiosks in Red Sea Mall and Jamjoom in Jeddah.

The UAE continues to be a challenging market with sales marginally up in the year to date. The opening of a new flagship store at Mirdiff City Centre, outlet refurbishments and relocations all contributed to Giordano’s ability to sustain business and achieve some positive growth during the year.

“It is proving to be an exciting time for Giordano here in the Middle East,” said Ishwar Chugani, Executive Director, Giordano Fashions LLC. “This year has seen the brand expanding in key markets, which is yielding encouraging results. We are confident that we will end 2010 with a minimum 20 per cent growth over last year, with Eid and Christmas contributing positively to Q4 sales, putting us in a great position for 2011. When it comes to products, the key to our success has been a ‘less is more’ strategy. We focus on getting the essentials right – providing a smaller range but offering the right choices for our customers.

“An economic downturn brings to the surface tiny fractures that are often unnoticeable during the good times. It is a fertile ground to relearn some of the lessons of the past and form the wisdom of the future.

“Business right across the region only picked up after the first half of the year, overcoming the challenges of early-2010. With a more stable business environment and consumer confidence returning, we now plan to open at least 15 new stores in the region next year and are investing in refurbishing our existing stores from now till 2011,” Chugani added.

With a global presence of over 2,200 stores, Giordano has grown into one of the leading retailers of casual apparel and goes from strength to strength in the Middle East. The company plans to continue its aggressive expansion and become more visible in the GCC, India, Iran, Iraq, and Georgia, and to reach out into Africa and Eastern Europe from its regional headquarters in the UAE.

Giordano’s cardless customer loyalty programme, World Without Strangers (WWS) continued to grow during 2010. There are now more than 200,000 regional members, who together account for over 20 per cent of retail sales.

The company’s performance regionally mirrors the success of the global brand; Giordano’s worldwide operations have recorded strong results in the year to date, pushing its share prices to all-time highs in 2010. As Giordano enters its 30th year in 2011, the company expects robust sales results to continue.

Chugani said: “We are aggressively pursuing our plans in the region and reiterating our brand heritage. We have been in the UAE for almost 18 years and have just celebrated our 15th year in Saudi Arabia. Our strength comes from our core values of quality, knowledge, innovation, simplicity and excellent customer service.”

In addition to expansion plans and refurbishing stores, Giordano will also boost its product lines in the region with Giordano Junior, BSX, Giordano Ladies and Concepts One (men’s line) offering more fashion choices for customers.

As Giordano intensifies its expansion, it is now working on its online shopping portal with plans to launch in 2011.


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