Daaman’s recent expansion plans to make a mark in Lahore by opening not just one but two stores simultaneously in the heart of the city. The popular high-street women’s wear brand already has its first store in Defence, Lahore. Established in Karachi in 2009 with a purpose to serve the modern woman with an ideal pret collection, the brand’s current growth with quality and sustainability targets maximum reach within existing markets.
Speaking to The Express Tribune about the primary focus on Lahore, Maleeha Chaudhry, creative director, revealed, “Well, to be honest, expansion has been under work for the past two years. We have been operating in Defence, Lahore for a couple of years. When these two fantastic opportunities came our way, one in the heart of Gulberg and the other in Al Fatah Mall, we just had to take those steps.”
These two locations look to serve different purposes. “It’s simply terrific. In Gulberg, the real shoppers will come to the store and Al Fatah will cater to women who love to shop in malls,” she said. She also believes that it will give a competitive edge to the brand. She adds, “This is such an advantage for us, better than marketing on the billboards. Exposure for us makes sense.”
Differentiating between Karachi and Lahore, Chaudhary claims, “Though we started out from Karachi about five years ago, we have witnessed that Lahore’s crowd likes flashy, more over-the-top outfits as opposed to the subtle designs that Karachiites love. We hope to get a similar response from here and for that have to have a Lahore-centric taste, as well.”
Whether or not the brand holds room for further expansion, she says, “No, we don’t have expansion designs. We grow organically. We will consolidate ourselves first and see where it takes us. No plans to open up any other store this year. Let’s see what happens next year.”
Daaman has been nominated four times for the best high-street brand at the Lux Style Awards. With three stores in Lahore, two in Karachi and one in Islamabad, Chaudhry has also built a solid online business, with the digital store is growing beyond expectations. “It has gained popularity throughout these years. We see growth in sales every year. Buying online is the preferred deal for many women. So, it is doing very well,” she said.
This major expansion seems to shift the focus from Karachi to Lahore. “We don’t have definitive answers to that. It will take a while to assess how the Defence crowd is different from the Gulberg traffic, which for now is higher. Also, Karachi market is visibly different from the Lahore one,” she said. “We hope to receive appreciation in Lahore, as we did five years ago when we launched ourselves initially in Karachi,” she adds.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2015.
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