Its 25 years of love with fashion

Rupkatha Bhowmick

One of Middle East’s favourite high street brands, Splash, turns 25 in March. The brand, owned and operated by retail conglomerate Landmark Group, opened its doors in the UAE in March 1993 and has since spread far and wide across the GCC and internationally.

In an exclusive interview with RetailME, CEO Raza Beig – who is also CEO ICONIC and director, Landmark Group – talks about Splash’s fascinating journey, built with love for its people, customers and fashion of course

“We have gone through four prominent stages of evolution. The first three-four years were purely trading, going out buying products, putting them together and selling in our stores. As European brands started coming in, we had to change our thought process as buyers. For about seven years or so we had to think, plan and strategise like buyers,” Beig recounts.

Around 2005-06, there came another significant shift when Splash had to start focusing on design, curate its products to stand out.

“During the buying phase, we adapted to the market needs and bought products that were relevant. As the Spanish, French and other international brands started penetrating the market, we had to become more design relevant. That’s when we started hiring our own designers, curating our own collections,” Beig elaborates.

“Once we became market relevant, went to the right fashion shows and observed the high street trends – wherein we were not lagging European brands by 3-6 months – we changed the course of our journey and began branding Splash as a high street retailer. Our processes are well defined, and our customers can see the difference. Today our loyal customers – who come in at least six times in a year – are easily able to spot our new collections within the store. They are well aware of the last drop and the launch of the new collections,” he adds.

Looking ahead, Beig shares, “The last two years have been disruptive for retail in many ways – be it share of wallet and business going to e-commerce or the rapid change in customer preferences. Today we have to be careful about the way we spread our geographical footprint. Five years ago I used to have an aggressive expansion plan, which has changed. Today I’ve toned down my approach. Now I move slowly, only after doing extensive research.”

Read the full article in the March edition of RetailME