D (132)

The Dune Group story began in 1895 when Morris Rubin arrived at the London Docks from Russia with just one German mark in his pocket. Here, we speak with his grandson Daniel Rubin, Founder and CEO of The Dune Group, where he has transformed the Dune London brand from a concession in a fashion store on Oxford Street, London, to a global powerhouse in the footwear sector.

Featuring stylish and fashionable designs, Dune London blends this with beautiful materials and detail with in-house design to create their distinctive, signature Dune style, season after season. Including everything from stunning diamante sandals to biker boots, Dune starts with the shoes and they always come first. Today the Dune London business operates 260 stores and 120 wholesale doors in 35 countries around the world, with their largest market outside of the UK being the Middle East with 52 stores.

Jio World Drive, INDIA
Jio World Drive, Mumbai , India


“The pandemic has made us re-evaluate our objectives in a very positive way,” explains Daniel Rubin, Founder and CEO of The Dune Group. “It has accelerated a shift in our strategy which would have taken longer to implement if there had not been a crisis. Although the past 18 months have been very challenging we have emerged from it a stronger and more focused business.”
The pandemic has seen them invest heavily in their digital strategy. They re-platformed their website, which now allows them greater efficiency and functionality and this is an ongoing project designed to enhance the customer experience and offer increased engagement by improved UGC, customer reviews and product descriptions amongst other initiatives.
The most recent Dune London store opening came by way of their franchise partner, Apparel Group, and is situated in the magnificent Assima Mall that opened in Kuwait City on 8th November. Meanwhile their franchise partner, Reliance, opened a site in the new Jio World Drive in Mumbai which is their largest store in India. The brand also opened a new unit in Edinburgh, Scotland in June at the impressive £1bn St James Quarter which is one of the largest new shopping developments in the UK.

Oxford Street East_London (4) (Dec Jan 2021)
Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom

In the coming months new sites are on course to launch in Dubai, Doha and Riyadh in the Middle East, Lagos in Nigeria, Birmingham and Glasgow in the UK, Cork in the Republic of Ireland and Malaysia, whilst new outlet stores will launch in the UK and Europe. On the topic of potential new markets, Rubin says their main focus is to have a presence in the US, albeit through wholesale rather than physical stores. “A very competitive and promotional market, you need to have a real point of difference in both brand and product to be successful in the US. We have considered the US market for many years, and I believe that now is the time for us to make it work.”
True specialists in footwear and accessories, the team is passionate about the product and are always looking at how they can move the range on in a Dune London way. Currently experiencing an exceptional AW 21 with boots being particularly strong, they are also seeing a revival in more formal products which are categories they excel at. They are also looking at adding new product groups such as kid’s shoes as well as increasing their accessories offer which is selling extremely well.

Assima Mall, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Assima Mall, Kuwait City, Kuwait

More than ever, retail is about the experience a brand offers and to improve this the business utilises the extensive data they have built about their customers which enables them to segment customers and therefore communicate with them in a more engaging, personalised and relevant way.
Communication with customers is vitally important, and Rubin highlights that social media and influencers are an increasingly important way of sharing information and speaking to customers.

“We have a very active Instagram account with over 400,000 global followers and a high engagement rate. Influencers are important for us, however it is essential that they are aligned to the brand and are authentic. Just having influencers that have broad following is not our way. They need to be stylistically and personality wise consistent with the brand. We have a broad customer base so diversity is another important criterion for choosing our influencers.”

Assima Mall Kuwait HR (4) (Dec Jan 2021)
The Assima Mall, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Over the years, Dune London has built up considerable customer trust and Rubin feels customers are confident buying from the brand. Classing themselves as an affordable luxury brand, they offer great quality, well-designed footwear and accessories at good prices.
“We are a creative company that embraces diversity as much as our home of London. We are confident in what we do, because we have been doing it for many years and this confidence and passion is shared by both our team and our customers.”
So what lies ahead for Dune London and what is the greatest challenge for the brand?
“An exciting future lies ahead as we look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary next year. As for the greatest challenge, I feel this is the factors that are out of our control, and it is how we respond to these factors that will determine our success moving forward.”

Classing themselves as an affordable luxury brand, they offer great quality, well-designed footwear and accessories at good prices.
“We are a creative company that embraces diversity as much as our home of London. We are confident in what we do, because we have been doing it for many years and this confidence and passion is shared by both our team and our customers.”
So what lies ahead for Dune London and what is the greatest challenge for the brand?
“An exciting future lies ahead as we look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary next year. As for the greatest challenge, I feel this is the factors that are out of our control, and it is how we respond to these factors that will determine our success moving forward.”