Premier Investments to open 20 Smiggle stores in Middle East by end of 2024


Australian company Premier Investments is planning to open 20 standalone stores of stationary brand Smiggle in the Middle East.

The first seven stores will open before Christmas, followed by a further 13 in 2024 in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

Within a decade, Preimer aims to have at least 60 Smiggle stores in the Middle East within a decade to step up its overseas growth.

Smiggle already has a presence in the Middle East via store-in-store concession operations, which was first brought to the region in 2018.

The offshore expansion comes as Premier reported that overall sales in the six weeks between August and the first half of September at Premier’s retail chains declined by two per cent compared with the same time a year ago as shoppers cut back on discretionary spending.

As a result of the lockdown, the brand had to shut 30 stores in the UK.

Premier Investments chair, billionaire Solomon Lew, said the “size of the opportunity is big” for Smiggle beyond the Middle East.

Mr Lew declined to name the “partner” which Premier was working with in the Middle East. While the initial plan includes 60 stores, it may be just the beginning of the expansion, he emphasised.

The global store network was reduced by about 50 compared with 2019. 

Mr Lew noted that the Premier’s retail brands “again outperformed the market” against all the odds.

Premier Investment has a strong presence in Australia and New Zealand and is growing into new markets including Singapore and the UK. Its Just Group’s brands include Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans, Jacqui E and Dotti.