Interview with Hasna Mohammadi – Partner Director Southern Zone (Africa, Near East, Middle East, Dom-Tom)
Hasna, can you tell us where this first Iraqi store has opened and in what context?
This first Iraqi shop opened its doors on 22nd September in the Erbil mall in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, a town in the north of Iraq.
Iraq is a strong country in the Middle East which, after years of dictatorship and war, today has a more stable political context and is enjoying a flourishing economy.
It is an essential country in the Arab world!
Despite far greater political stability in this country, the area is still classified as a red zone by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which meant our teams could not go there to open this new store. We had to manage everything remotely without visiting Iraq, a difficult challenge that our teams easily overcame working in close collaboration with our Iraqi partner!
For the opening day, 22nd September, the French consul Olivier Decottignies honoured us with his presence for the inauguration of our lovely store.
This store is a franchise. How did you choose our partner for this adventure?
To be honest is was the partner who chose us! Mr Saadi came to us because he discovered our brand on his travels in the Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He noticed how much local populations liked our products and our brand. Our partner is Iraqi. He has excellent knowledge of the clothing market and retail because he has other franchises, Adidas in particular.
What is the children’s clothing market like in this country and what position does Okaïdi want on this market?
In terms of local competition, there are few players on the children’s market in Iraq. But it’s taking off! Today, we have identified 2 main Turkish competitors: Pancho and LC Waikiki.
Pancho has 5 stores in Iraq and LC Waikiki has 30 points of sale and a website.
Our objective with Okaïdi is to open 10 stores within 5 years and an online store.
We recently opened our first store and we are already planning to open our online store within 5 months. Then we’ll have our future physical store openings to reach our objective of 10 new stores!
A final word?
Thank you to our partner Mr Saadi for enabling WE ACT FOR KIDS to reach other countries where French products are very well-known and keenly awaited.
We hope our messages of peace, respect for human rights and the environment will now spread through Iraq!
Thank you Hasna!
Watch the video of the opening of this lovely store!