DSW Inc. is taking its business overseas.
The Columbus, Ohio-based off-price retailer announced Wednesday that it has signed Dubai-based retail conglomerate Apparel Group as its exclusive franchise partner in the Persian Gulf. The agreement will expand DSW into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Oman with 40 stores across the territory.
“We are thrilled to bring DSW to new markets outside North America,” Simon Nankervis, DSW’s chief commercial officer, said in a release. “DSW fills white space for fashion-minded consumers in the Middle East with our wide range of international brands at compelling value.”
The first stores are set to open — in both malls and on high street locations — in 2017. DSW said the initial stores will average around 15,000 square feet in size and offer about 2,000 choices.
According to Apparel Group founder and chairman Nilesh Ved, there is a strong demand for the DSW brand in the Middle East.
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“We look forward to launching our partnership with DSW in the Gulf region,” Ved said in a release. “With DSW’s compelling merchandise and brand recognition, coupled with our group’s marketing expertise and knowledge of the customer, we will create an incredible experience in footwear retailing in the region.”
DSW has also expanded its digital footprint this year, snapping up off-price e-tailer EBuys Inc. in February. EBuys — with a presence in North America, Europe and Australia — also added to DSW’s international reach.