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Ugg signs Middle East deal

Footwear brand Ugg Australia has signed a new partnership deal to roll out a wholesale and retail business across the Middle East.

Ugg flagship in Air Street London

Ugg flagship in Glasshouse Street London

The deal with Apparel Group will see the US brand extend its nascent wholesale business in the region, with new accounts already signed for spring 16 with multibrand footwear retailers The Athlete’s Foot in Dubai, Shoe Gallery in Abu Dhabi, and Athlete’s Co in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Ugg has not revealed a target number for new accounts under the new partnership.

The Deckers-owned footwear brand already had accounts with Harvey Nichols, Galeries Lafayette and Level Shoe District in the United Arab Emirates.

The first standalone Ugg store in the Middle East is expected to open in Dubai in the autumn, but the brand could not yet reveal a precise date or location.

Gianni Georgiades, Ugg’s managing director for omnichannel across EMEA, said: “This announcement underlines our commitment to expand our retail presence across EMEA; it is a reflection of the demand for the Ugg brand in the Middle East.”

Georgiades told Drapers of imminent plans to expand across the Middle East during an interview in October, in which he said the move was buoyed by the company’s growing spring/summer collections, which have seen it diversify into sandals, espadrilles and clogs, as well as the region’s preference for marble floors and air con, making the classic sheepskin boots a popular choice.

Ugg also has South African expansion in its sights and is looking to open stores in Germany.

To read the full Drapers Interview with Georgiades click here.

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