Monolithic department stores like Selfridges and Bergdorf Goodman all share one thing in common: They are fashion menageries, offering a variety of labels under one roof. In the same spirit, Islamabad’s L’atelier boutique recently launched, as of July 7, Daaman pret wear at its premises as ‘a store within a store’.
Daaman’s Maleeha Nasir, previously a buyer for Mantra, initially opened shop in Karachi and then expanded to Lahore. However, Islamabad proved trickier; the rent is exorbitantly high in the capital.
"Daaman decided to launch at L'atelier because we've got a great market for Pret here," said L'atelier's CEO Zahra Raza, as she showed around the store.
“When you enter, we’ve set it up so you really feel like you’ve entered the actual Daaman store,” explained Raza. A sizeable portion of the boutique’s second floor has been devoted to Daaman — it has its own tasteful plaque, the floors are glossy with a wood finish.
“Sales have been phenomenal, they’ve sold over a 100 units in 10 days”, added Raza. “These days, a lot of girls in Islamabad are working and earning for themselves; on average they earn anything up to Rs40,000, so a store like this is ideal for budget buying,” remarked Raza as she held up a full-length purple jumpsuit priced at under Rs4,000. “I mean, these are high street looks right out of London. Everyone’s into jumpsuits these days,” she added.
Raza also showed colourful full length shirts and assorted cotton kurtas ranging from canary yellow to hot pink; these block colours have been selling like hot cakes in the steamy weather. The black and white chooridars priced at Rs2,000 and up, are a popular buy as well.
The secret behind Daaman’s massive sales isn’t exactly rocket science: The store produces in bulk so it can keep prices low: shoppers can hope to find steals at Rs1,500 and above. Consequently, the trendy pret wear boasts a low shelf life and will remain on the racks for no more than four to five days. And since Daaman believes in manufacturing in volume, there’s always something new on the racks.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2011.