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Baroue ready for wholesale debut

Kuwait-based kids’ department store Baroue will open three stores this year in the Middle East and launch its own brand at wholesale after strong trading in the first six months since its debut.

Baroue, part of a company called MS Retail, which is based in London and owned by the Al Fayer and Al-Mutawa families, will open units in Saudi Arabia this year and is in talks to open a third store in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.

Victoria Taylor, director of buying and merchandising at MS Retail, said: “Baroue has been trading exceptionally well since it opened six months ago. It makes sense to now target Saudi Arabia as it is a bigger market than Kuwait.”

Baroue, which sells 60% own label and 40% branded kidswear including Ollie, Miss Sixty and Pampolina, also plans to wholesale its brand internationally for the first time for spring 09. It will show at kidswear fair Fimi in Valencia from July 4-6 and Taylor is in talks to show its spring 09 collection at Premier Kids at the NEC in Birmingham which runs from July 6-8.

Taylor said there was a gap in the UK market for Baroue. “It will compete with the Next and H&M’s kidswear,” she said. “There is a gap in the market for affordable kids’ clothing and we’re looking to target both department stores and indies.”

Baroue retails from £3.50 for a T-shirt to £40 for a party dress, and caters for kids from newborn to 14 years old.

However, Taylor ruled out opening a UK store any time soon. “The rents are so high, the market is volatile and there is more opportunity in the Middle East as 50% of the population are under 15 years old,” she said.

Baroue plans to open 115 stores in the Middle East over the next decade.

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