Over the past 25 years, Toufic Kreidieh, the Founding Partner and CEO of Brands for Less, has been immersed in an entrepreneurial journey that began with scraping together $10,000 to establish a store in a Beirut underground parking lot in 1996. Today, their off-price retail enterprise has evolved into a thriving budget shopping empire, boasting over 80 outlets across the Middle East and Malta, along with a robust online presence.
Kreidieh takes pride in Brands for Less’ transformative impact on the region’s retail landscape, coining a new paradigm in shopping. He states, “We are really proud to be the people who engineered this off-price model in the Middle East.”
The Brands for Less concept offers consumers a unique ‘treasure hunt’ experience, allowing them to acquire coveted items from top brands at significantly reduced prices. Since its launch in the UAE in 2000, the company has garnered a devoted following, proving especially popular during economic crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Kreidieh notes, “Our business really booms in days of crisis,” citing major expansions during both the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the company expands, Kreidieh maintains a clear focus on key markets. The UAE, where they initially opened a store in Dubai financed by personal loans, remains their primary market over two decades later. Brands for Less has also made inroads into Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, with imminent openings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Embracing new marketing avenues, Kreidieh has turned to TikTok to connect with a younger, brand-savvy, yet budget-conscious demographic. Despite initial trial and error, Brands for Less has found success on the social media platform, with its first TikTok post amassing 1.4 million views.
Kreidieh’s journey from being the eldest son in a single-parent household, working at age 11 to support his family, to undertaking an administrative role in Saudi Arabia earning $700 per month, reflects a remarkable evolution. Now, a quarter-century later, the ambitious entrepreneur remains dedicated to growing his business and providing value to shoppers seeking something special without breaking the bank.