Abu Dhabi: Brooks Brothers, the US-based fashion retailer, is expected to open 15-20 outlets in the GCC region over the next five years, according to its chairman and chief executive officer, Claudio Del Vecchio.

Speaking to Gulf News on Monday at the launch of their first Abu Dhabi outlet in Yas Mall, Del Vecchio said the business will focus on the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

“Till 10 years ago, Japan was the only market we were present in outside the United States, but now we’re in over 45 different markets, and the Middle East is a strategic part of this expansion. At the same time, we are also investing in South America and south Asia, so China and India are two big priorities,” he said.

He added that the business is looking into partnerships with companies in the Middle East and North Africa region to expand, but that there was nothing concrete yet.

“We have not been here [in the UAE] for a long time, but so far, we’re very happy with our performance. We look at other brands that are competing with us, and they seem to do pretty well. I think the market looks like it’s going to be a very good one for us. The customers understand what we do, and they’re looking for more like it,” the chairman said.

Discussing demand for luxury products in particular, Del Vecchio said he found the largest penetration of luxury customers in the UAE.

Brooks Brothers’ presence in the region comes as a result of a partnership agreement with Jashenmal Group.

Tony Jashenmal, CEO of Jashenmal, who was also present at the launch, said the group was looking into bringing 30-40 stores of different brands per year to the region. He added that while the group had typically focused its UAE operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is currently looking into other emirates, but did not disclose details of new launches.