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TMCNet:  Playing right in kids' retail [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]

[July 27, 2014]

Playing right in kids' retail [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]

(Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Ajman-based Global Brands to boost portfolio; sees bright future in industry Global Brands, a specialised company dealing with branded products for schoolkids, is planning to add more international brands in its portfolio to further strengthen its presence in the UAE and the Middle East's fast-growing retail market, its top official says.


The company, which is based in the Ajman Free Zone, sees bright prospects for the retail market, especially for kids, and is confident of increase its business across the region in months to come.

"Retail is a fast-growing business today and Global Brands is keen to strengthen its position by focusing on the back-to-school segment and introducing more brands in near future," Vijay Shenoy, chief executive of Global Brands, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

Global Brands was established in 2011 and holds some of the most well-known brands like Sanrio, Cartoon Network, WWE, Warner Bros, Dreamworks and many others in its portfolio. It has partnered with the region's most popular chains and department stores such as Carrefour, Geant, Lulu, Hyper Panda, Toys r Us and Hamleys, among others, and various other distributors across the Middle East and North Africa region.

"We focus on back-to-school [BTS] business and also deal in different products categories like sunglasses, umbrella, furniture and meal sets, but BTS remains the main business of the company. We excel in licencing of these products across the Mena region," Shenoy said.

To a question, he said Global Brands does not have its own operations in the GCC market, however it has a strong network of distributors in all the regions representing the company's brands. "We have a strong relationship with all buyers of the leading retails chains like Landmark Group, Lulu, Redtag, Toys r Us, Hamleys, etc. The resilient network of distributors also supported the company's business. We have been working with them for last 20 years." Growth strategy About the company's growth strategy, he said Global Brands has no choice but to penetrate into more retail outlets to cash in on the strong demand for its products especially in the kids segment. Moreover, the company is planning to appoint more distributors across the region to boost its business.

"We have to introduce quality products at competitive prices. Besides this, we need to have strong marketing and promotional activities in order to promote the brand. There is need to develop a lot of awareness, as sometimes, the consumers are unaware of the brand.

"We will support our customers with promotional activities, mascot visit to their stores, cross promotion with leading food chains and many more marketing activities." New brands coming About the new brands to be launched in the market, he said the company is going to add about a dozen new brands in its portfolio in the near future.

"Global Brands recently launched Rebecca Bonbon's cosmetic line. We are also looking to launch their cosmetics and accessories soon," he said, adding that talks are also underway to introduce a well-known sports brand in the market.

"Lalaloopsy from MGA entertainment, Oxford, Nickelodeon, Keith Kimberlin, Mixel from Cartoon Network, MTV from Viacom, Hello kitty and Little Miss Hug from Sanrio, and Mr Men and Little Miss from Sanrio, among others, will soon strengthen the company's portfolio and available in retail outlets across the region." Retail to grow Shenoy is upbeat about the outlook of the retail market in Dubai and said Global Brands will target the children's segment to increase its market share.

"The retail market in Dubai is growing every year and we have so many exciting products in our market in addition to have mega shopping malls and neighbourhood stores that attract customers." "Also, the retail market is growing due to inflow of many tourists coming to the region. Media like movies related to animation and live-action, TV, radio, magazines, live events and shows for children are also helping the retail sector to grow," he said.

Elaborating why Global Brands only targets the children's segment to boost its business, he said the kids retail market is one of the fastest-growing sections of retail and branded products are very much popular among children of all ages.

"Global Brands is currently targeting the children's segment as every child loves to carry a branded backpack — be it related to fashion, animation or even sports. The children seem to be more attracted to the branded products than an ordinary product. The parents also love to give their child, good quality and branded product for their school requirement." "Over the past years, there has been a tremendous growth in this segment. In 2015, we will be expanding our portfolio by introducing brands for the teenage segment," he said.

Good times ahead In reply to a question, he said Global Brands is confident of achieving a significant boost in its business by focusing on the children's retail market. He said school bags, stationery and paper products are the major contributors to the company's overall business.

"From our experience and observations, the kids retail market is approximately 20 per cent of total gross retail sale. We currently hold about five per cent share of the kids retail market for BTS and accessories. In the near future, we are aiming to achieve 20 per cent of the total market share of this segment." "Due to new and exciting brands being launched in the region, we are optimistic our business will for sure increase in 2014 and 2015," he added.

About the 2014 first-half performance and outlook for the second half, he said Global Brands achieved its sales target for BTS in the first half and the future business prospects are bright for the company.

"For the second half, we have more exciting and popular brands to be added to our portfolio. We are also planning to launch more new products in the market and are expecting more growth in the business," he said.

Asked about the challenges seen in retail segment especially for the children's section, he said there is so much competition in the licencing industry between the licencees for the various brands in BTS and accessories category.

"Every licencee aims to have the biggest brand, but we strongly feel that if you truly believe in a particular brand and put in all your hard work and efforts, it will definitely become a success," Shenoy concluded.

(c) 2014 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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