Brand new Debenhams to open in April at Dolmen Mall

Published: January 13, 2012
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(From left to right) Lord Green, the minister for trade and investment for the UK, Yasin Paracha, the MD of Team A ventures, and Baronness Sayeeda Warsi, addressing the press conference.

(From left to right) Lord Green, the minister for trade and investment for the UK, Yasin Paracha, the MD of Team A ventures, and Baronness Sayeeda Warsi, addressing the press conference.

Interior views of Dolmen Mall that will house several big brands such as Mango, Next and Debenhams. Hyperstar opened here a short while ago as well. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS
(From left to right) Lord Green, the minister for trade and investment for the UK, Yasin Paracha, the MD of Team A ventures, and Baronness Sayeeda Warsi, addressing the press conference.
KARACHI: 

It will take another four months for UK department store Debenhams to open its doors for customers in Karachi but excitement has already surrounded the international retailer. 

On Thursday, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint and Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi descended on the city for the store’s media launch.

They didn’t mind the makeshift arrangement made for the ceremony on the top floor of the Harbour Front building, which also houses a mall.

“This is going to be huge for our market,” said Yasin Paracha, the managing director of Team A Ventures, the company bringing the franchise to Pakistan. “It seems like an expensive store but we have done our homework and there is an appetite for brands.”

At present, it is hard to say what the store will look like. The space, spread over 27,000 square feet, is still under construction. But Debenhams will market at least eight of its in-house brands in Pakistan besides other known names.

The store was originally slated to be inaugurated in 2009 but it was delayed due to a lack of space, Paracha said.

The fact that other brands such as Next and Monsoon are doing well in the country suggests that Debenhams has a market, he said. “A lot of people also shop while they travel to other countries. That is the clientele we specifically want to attract.”

The store will open up some time in April. The price strategy for the market will not be different from what customers pay in the UK or any of its 65 franchises around the world.

Betty Jackson, John Rocha and Pineapple are some of the brands that people will find in Karachi. Paracha said more stores will be opened up in other cities.

Green said some of the largest British high-end brands were interested in doing business in the country. “We are working towards doubling the flow of trade between Pakistan and England.”

Warsi also spoke.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Optimist
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:02PM

    When I mentioned few months ago that Pakistan will see Billions of dollars of investment in next couple of years, many Indians mocked me. I have been to many investor meetings in Dubai & Europe and all I gather from different investors is that ‘Pakistan is next big thing’.
    .
    From Korea to Holland, Pakistan is being mentioned for good reasons AND they dont believe in media image being portrayed (due to hardwork of overseas Pakistanis).
    .
    These businesses not only investing in Pakistan but also working for peace in the region. They do not want to make Pakistan destabilise.

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  • Amjad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:39PM

    @Optimist: I agree there is a large middle class which is only growing in size in Pakistan. It is the responsibility of Pakistanis to counter the sensationalism and anti state hysteria caused by foreign hands who have an interest in destabilising Pakistan. Otherwise, Pakistan is a large market which is set to develop with greater stablity.

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  • Shamoon
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:59PM

    Seth Saab, congrats on such a feat. Very impressive indeed! All the best for this.

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  • jake
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:48AM

    @Optimist:

    unfortunately because of the security situation pakistan at the moment is way way behind india in foreign investment.
    i hear India is a shoppers delight, with 4-5 debenham stores already operating for many years in Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore

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  • Ammara
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:07PM

    @Jake:
    India is more than twice Pakistan’s size, and has a very abundant population that the world is forced to recognise. Debenhams has Nation wide plans in Pakistan, despite its small size and lesser population, so no- we’re not really behind in foreign investment.
    Pakistan, India and China are the largest world markets with foreign companies recognising and investing in the agriculture, trade and finance of these respective Nations. Comparing them does will not make sense since thier size, population, culture and geography/ demographics are vastly different.
    As for the security situation, India, Cuba, South Africa, East Africa, South America, Nepal, Tibet, Korea, Iran, Iraq, Great Britain and Venezuela have all had security issues from time to time, from Fidel Castro’s coup to South Africa’s apartheid to Nepal and Tibet’s guerrilla forces to Great Britain;s mass rioting in 2011.
    These nations are hot grounds for foreign investment and remain so despite their upheavals. So, to render a country such as Pakistan as ‘unstable and behind in foreign investment’ is incorrect.

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