Debenhams looks to Iran for next store opening
British high street giant Debenhams is set to open its first ever department store in Iran.
Despite the strict regime in the country where some women wear full-length burkas and cover their bodies, the company’s directors see the country as an optimum area to expand into.
Debenhams’ international director Francis McAuley believes Iran is ‘one of the friendliest places I have been to’ and explained the current fashion in the country is for young women to opt for headscarves over fully-covered burkas.
Speaking to The Sun, McAuley commented: ‘It’s a really self-sufficient country – they have everything except fashion so there’s a real pent-up demand.
‘I’m expecting the Iranian market to be similar to the rest of the Middle East.’
He added: ‘And it’s there that we sell our most daring lingerie – the extremely sexy stuff sells really well in Saudi Arabia.’
Men in the region can’t get too excited though, as they’ll be banned from picking out any lingerie gifts at the store.
Despite McAuley’s laid-back attitude to the store’s introduction, Iranians who chose to wear Western-style clothes were recently targeted by police. Such dressing is frowned upon by the Iranian government, but large numbers of women are choosing to ignore the stricter dress code, opting for tight trousers, make-up and their headscarves pushed back to reveal more of their faces.