Charming Charlie expands to Middle East

Houston-based accessories retailer Charming Charlie has partnered with a Dubai fashion conglomerate to open its first location outside of North America.

Charming Charlie will open two stores at City Centre Mirdif and Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai this year. The stores will be operated by the international licensing partner Apparel Group.

The new storefronts are part of the business’ plan to aggressively expand both domestically and internationally in 2015.

The company, that started out as a single-floor retail space below the family business in 2004, said in November that it expects to open 55 new stores in 2015.


That month, the company opened its first stores outside of the U.S. in Ontario, Canada. Two additional stores in British Columbia, Canada, are also scheduled to open

Charming Charlie operates 350 stores in the U.S., Canada and now the Middle East. In 2013, Forbes estimated that the company was valued at $1 billion.

In 2012, founder and CEO Charlie Chanaratsopon told the Houston Business Journal that he was confident the company could operate as many as 1,000 stores.

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Charming Charlie moves onto the world’s stage with two Dubai stores

A Houston-based women’s jewelry and accessories retailer is spreading its footprint beyond the U.S., with two international locations open and planning underway for two others.

Within the past few weeks, two Charming Charlie stores have opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates — 8,000 miles away from headquarters.


One store is at City Centre Mirdif and the second is at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. The stores are Charming Charlie’s first locations outside of North America.

The move has been in the works for about three years said Charlie Chanaratsopon, founder and CEO of the women’s jewelry and accessories retailer founded in 2004.

“What we wanted to do, first and foremost, was to have a market that would help build the brand,” Charlie Chanaratsopon said.

Charming Charlie teamed up with Apparel Group, an operating firm that oversees daily operations at the Middle East locations as it does with 1,000 other stores of different brands.

Accessory offerings differ a little for the Dubai store and have been tailored for locals, though the shopping experience is the same there as in any of the more than 350 Charming Charlie locations across the U.S. and Canada.

What made Dubai attractive was that it is a large market that can support continued growth, Chanaratsopon said. Business has been “gangbusters” since opening day, he added.

Charlie Chanaratsopon

Charming Charlie has been on a growth spurt, opening about 150 of its stores within the past three years and averaging about 55 new locations per year.

A new store opened in June along Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Additional international locations are in the works. Charlie Chanaratsopon said a location in the Philippines could open this fall and a Mexico location in spring.

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