Kippreport gets insights from Mike Belk, CEO and president of Daimler Middle East and LevantMarch 26, 2015 12:02
The kids clothes are alright
A giant of the UK high street fashion industry is launching a kids clothing brand in the Middle East. And, with more than 100 stores slated for this year, he’s not messing around.
March 13, 2011 3:57 by Sidra Tariq
He adds that he has tried to make the FG4 stores more engaging through designs and different concepts. “I always say about the ambience of such places: If you are invited by someone to their house or flat, you either feel comfortable, or you feel a bit out of place. So what you’ve got to do [at the store] is create space and an ambience that people feel really confident in,” he says.
According to Davies, each section of the store has been customized to suit the children’s age groups. For example, the background for boys and girls within the 10-14 age group is a brick wall, while the baby section has lots of whites to give a nursery look.
And in an attempt to make the store experience more engaging for children, Davies has introduced a “Design it Yourself” concept. This is a section where children can design on a computer at the store, add badges and accessories, and have the design printed onto a shirt or trouser; they can wear their own creation.
Davies says that like most of his brands, FG4 falls within the category of “affordable collectables.” And by affordable, he doesn’t mean cheap. “I can’t guarantee cheap products. It’s not my style,” he says. “It is easy to have cheap clothing, but it is not easy to have great value. Because value is about design, presentation, service, quality or cloth. I always pitch myself against the highest brands in those areas – whether it is Diesel or Prada – but then I make it affordable by the distribution method.”
“I ensure that people are proud to wear FG4. So I put the brand mark in the garments,” he says. He wants people to recognize the look of FG4 and recognize it as a brand. When people think of Nike, they think of the “swoosh” logo, he says. “You occupy it through brain cells in the majority of people’s heads. And that is what I’m trying to do. That is why Next is still really well known and people will describe Next and the look of Next…and Per Una. It has a handwriting, which, if you get right, becomes a brand.”
Davies adds that his clothes work well as collectables. “When I [bring] brands together, I never buy individual items,” he says. “I always buy them in collections. In other words, there will be 10 or 12 pieces, where the consumers can mix around, be quite safe and make a variety of looks.”
“That is my trademark,” he says.
According to Davies, FG4 has received a warm response in Saudi Arabia so far. “We’re delighted because we’ve only been trading [for a few weeks], but we’re actually competing and doing better than lots of the [other shops],” he says.
With more than 100 stores set to open this year and a women’s clothing line being added to the brand, this year is surely a busy one for FG4.
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