THE CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF MASS-MARKET FOOTWEAR RETAILER CCC SHOES AND BAGS EXPLAINS WHY HE WANTS TO OPEN HUNDREDS OF STORES IN THE GULF
FOR MANY TRADITIONAL brick and mortar retailers in the Gulf Cooperation Council the last few years have represented a period of contraction rather than growth.
Factors linked to the lower oil price including reduced consumer spending have challenged the margins of many businesses at a time when they are facing new competition from e-commerce players and government legislation including a 5 per cent value added tax.
But it is within this context that Dariusz Milek, the billionaire chairman and president of Poland’s CCC Shoes and Bags, is approaching the region with major expansion plans.
In January, the company signed a 10-year franchise deal with UAE-based conglomerate Apparel Group for an initial 60 stores with a total area of 40,000 square metres and online sale’s through the company’s e-commerce platform and channels.
And it is clear for the man sometimes dubbed Poland’s ‘king of shoes’ for his leadership of the country’s largest retail company that this is only the beginning.
“We look at this market as 50 million people and the store potential is at least 200 stores,” he reveals without the slightest hint of exaggeration.
“What we have put into the contract with Apparel is a minimum 60 but this is a safe number.
“If we are successful in getting to the customer then actually we’ll be swimming not in a small lake but an ocean, and an ocean for us is 200 to 400 stores within the region.”
There is a sense that CCC has every intention of fulfilling these lofty ambitions as the company’s European store network continues to expand.
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