Urban luxury sneaker brand set for GCC foray

Kruzin, an urban luxury sneaker brand, is all set to mark its step into the GCC next month and the UAE will be first to welcome the brand in the region, its top official says.
Andreea Danila, founder and managing Director of Millennial Capital Ltd., a specialist investment and management firm providing growth capital to global emerging retail mid-market brands, said the UAE is the first country in Gulf region to welcome the brand, which is already marketed into more than 40 outlets in five countries across Asia and North America.
She said Kruzin footwear is operating globally across four key markets, specifically Florida (US) from where the brand originates, San Paolo (Brazil), Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Taipei (Taiwan) and now Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). “Specifically in Dubai, we developed an omni-channel positioning, inclusive of online sales via www.kruzinfootwear.ae (live) and a retail location in City Walk 2 starting from first week of October 2016,” Danila told Khaleej Times on Saturday.
Millennial Capital Ltd. is established in the UAE by a group of reputable investors with an extensive track record in private equity, mergers and acquisitions and entrepreneurship. The firm, which managing the brand rights for Kruzin in GCC and India, provides growth capital to emerging brands in the consumer sector, targeting to expand into the GCC region. Danila said Kruzin has signed pop up retail spaces across different locations including City Walk, Al Serkal Avenue and Design District during 2016.
“The first branded store is set for opening in December 2016 which will be accompanied by an innovative fashion show and product look display in Dubai,” she said. To a question, she said Kruzin Arabia is fully integrated across the value chain including warehouse, fulfillment, urban delivery with Carry, pop up stores and branded stores. “We are actually the first fashion, retail brand to offer same day delivery for all our items to customers in Dubai. We have designed store/online shop P&L KPIs to integrate into our omni-channel strategy,” she said.
In reply to a question, she said her company is expected to manage up to five branded Kruzin stores across the GCC in the next three years before expanding in India. Danila is confident that Kruzin Arabia is expected to become profitable in the first 12 months of operations. “Our key operating assumptions along with the exclusive rights across distribution channels will enable us to be able to boost revenue by keeping operating costs below industry benchmarks.”
About the growth strategy in the region, she said as a long-term investor in retail and consumer products brand, Millennial Capital Ltd. believes that Kruzin will be one of the first urban lifestyle brands for the group.
“We are evaluating other investment opportunities in the consumer discretionary category, brands that can be purchased online, and off line and which target the millennial customer group.” To a question about the competition in Dubai, she said Kruzin’s unique brand positioning in the urban luxury category, price range, diverse and targeted product portfolio and along with company’s successful omni-channel strategy is an unmet customer proposition in the GCC region.
“Kruzin Footwear global team and especially its creative director Alessandra Gold bring more than 15 years of successful international fashion retail experience and Kruzin is one of the few standalone sneaker brands, globally.” “Currently, the local retail market is fragmented among luxury brands or local brands while a large gap exists in the mid-market affordable luxury segment with an average spending per purchase of Dh500.
“Kruzin also closes the gap between fashion runway to immediate buy option via our online portals or retail stores. We basically take Kruzin Runway Miami Fashion Show product and we offer it to GCC consumers on the spot!”
Danila said the urban luxury theme in the retail sector is quickly evolving as emerging markets consumers demand trendy products at competitive prices delivered via omni-channel. She said the retail market in GCC is still concentrated around luxury brands with little exposure to mid-market brands.
“A region with a median age of 28 years old, a 62 per cent internet penetration and $28,000 consumption spending per capita will trigger demand for quality brands at affordable prices. We aim to expand on Kruzin’s global strategy by deploying investment in key areas such as digital, pop up stores, and fashion collaborations until the end of 2016 in UAE, before developing retail shops in GCC and India from 2017 onwards,” Danila concluded.