Melbourne-based fashion stationery retailer kikki.K is defying the current negative retail trend with 68 per cent year-on-year growth, and an opening at the new Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping complex.

kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson says while many retailers are struggling, it’s not all doom and gloom.

“We’re fortunate to still be experiencing strong growth, even in these uncertain times,” she says.

“Every time I open the paper I read a negative headline or statistic, so we’re thrilled to be able to share some positive news, and I’m glad for the industry as a whole that it’s not all despair.”

In the past 12 months, 11 new kikki.K stores have opened, and with national and international expansion the business has employed 300 new people.

According to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) 2008 Christmas retail survey released this week, more than two thirds of consumers will spend the same or more than last year this Christmas.

Karlsson is looking forward to a strong December.

“We’ve become a gift destination, and this year our range is more popular than ever,” says Karlsson.

A recently signed agreement will see 25 new kikki.K stores open in the Middle East over the next three years, nearly doubling the existing retail operation of 31 privately owned stores in Australia and New Zealand.

Next month kikki.K will open at Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping complex at 5.9 million sqft, featuring nearly every major fashion retailer in the world.

kikki.K recently forecast 102 per cent growth in online sales for Christmas and early
indications show the online business will exceed expectations.

“Our team is so busy fulfilling online orders in time to go under the Christmas tree… Our customers love the convenience of online shopping, especially at this hectic time of year,” says Karlsson.