Ermenegildo Zegna has formed a joint venture with the Dubai-based Al Tayer Group to expand its reach in the Middle East.
The deal calls for Al Tayer to take over from its former partner, UAE Trading, as the main operator of Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques and other points of sale in the United Arab Emirates.
Al Tayer Group is a UAE-based diversified business conglomerate, and its retail division represents more than 35 brands and 200 stores in the region for Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, Bottega Veneta, Coach, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, Jimmy Choo and others. It also has operations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.
Gildo Zegna, chief executive officer of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, said the company has been present for years in the UAE. “We have now decided to continue our expansion together with Al Tayer Group, which shares our values and business vision.” He acknowledged UAE Trading for “strengthening the Zegna brand’s presence and image as one of the most important in luxury men’s wear in the region.”
Zegna told WWD that while visiting the UAE, “I saw a real opportunity for growth. The best strategy for us is to manage our stores ourselves to be closer to our customers. As more international customers are visiting and buying in our stores, it becomes increasingly important to build and maintain a direct relationship with them. The partnership with the Al Tayer Group allows us to do this.”
He said Al Tayer knows how to plan projects in the Emirates “and is in an excellent position to help us offer a global, high-end customer experience to UAE locals as well as visitors.”
Zegna said the company has four directly operated stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and “various franchise stores and multibrand points of sales throughout Middle East. In August, we opened a flagship in the Mall of the Emirates and its current performance is a good indicator of the market at large. In fact, I feel quite positive about next year and estimate that we could see double-digit annual growth.”
He called the UAE “one of the most developed luxury markets in the world and a key market for Zegna. To consolidate our presence within this market, our strategy includes the renovation of our store at the Dubai mall in 2017, the creation of department store corners, fostering opportunities in unique airport developments both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I am also very positive about the opportunities that will arise as part of the upcoming Expo event in 2020.”
He said the Zegna customer continues to be very loyal “despite the general worldwide slowdown in retail traffic….I see good opportunities for our unique and innovative personalization project that it is not just about our made-to measure suits, but extended to luxury sportswear, such as cashmere jackets, knitwear and leather accessories [as well].”
Speaking of the new partnership, Khalid Al Tayer, ceo of Al Tayer Group, cited Zegna’s “strong heritage built on the foundations of family, a commitment to excellence and ethics, a passion for quality and style and a pioneering vision. At Al Tayer Group, we share many of these principles, and we are confident that this strategic alliance will enable the delivery of the finest shopping experience to the Zegna customer.”