Cospicua was the commercial centre of Malta in the late 19th century. All merchant and navy ships used to berth in Cospicua Docks. Prior to opening his first shop in Cospicua, Salvatore Abela started his business selling shaving accessories to British and American sailors from his cart. Since his name, Salvatore, was difficult to pronounce, he was nicknamed “Frank”. Salvatore opened his first shop on Cospicua Waterfront in 1893.
First Shop In Malta
Salvatore had 6 sons. One of the sons, Vincent, recognized the potential rooted in retail at the time and realized it would develop in Valletta. So, in 1915, he opened his own store selling cosmetics, toiletries, kitchenware and toys.
As his brother had already opened a store in Cospicua, called ‘FRANKS’, Vincent was almost forced to change the name of his store due to legal issues. This problem was soon resolved once Vincent named one of his sons Frank!
When Joseph took over
After the 2nd World War, business was taken over by one of Vincent’s sons, Joseph Abela. Joseph gave the business a new dimension, which was fundamentally in the import & wholesale distribution of luxury goods.
FRANKS taken over by Lauro Abela
In 1979, after completing his studies at the university of Malta, Lauro Abela, the only male offspring, started working in the company, assisted by his sister Marisa. This coincided with a total rebuilding of the shop in Valletta. With the re-opening of the store after a year of reconstruction, FRANKS started to establish itself as a top retailer of luxury fragrances and cosmetics.
Opening of Plaza
This is the year when Franks was approached by the management of The Plaza Shopping Centre in Sliema, to set up a perfumery in this top location. The store was fairly large for the time, however, since then this store has been extended fivefold. In 2012 to become the largest FRANKS to date.
Opening in Republic Street
Following the visibility and success of the two stores, FRANKS was approached by the owners of The Energy Complex in Republic Street in Valletta to take over an area on the second floor of the complex. This became very popular immediately, and the following year it was transferred to the ground floor entrance. In 2015, this store moved a few doors down road and is now operating in a shop in conjunction with Gajet.
Opening in Rahal Gdid
This year was very busy indeed. A year when FRANKS was redecorating the outlet in Republic Street and setting up a completely new store in the main shopping area in Paola.
Opening in Bay Street
Baystreet Shopping Centre was considered as the millennium project in the heart of the nightlife area of St.Julians. The project was a great success and FRANKS played an important role in the development of a new concept in shopping ideas.
Opening in Mosta
After eight years of consolidation, FRANKS embarked on a grand concept in the heart of the town of Mosta.A large area of556 square meterswas divided into a shop in shop complex based on the idea of a concept store, complete with perfumery, coffee shop, jewellers, wine boutique, card shop and clothing shop, spread over two floors. Unfortunately, this shop has been re dimensioned and now occupies the ground floor of the Cornerstone Complex.
Opening at The Point
2010 is the year when FRANKS was contacted by the management of The Point shopping center in Tigne to open a perfumery in this grand modern shopping center. Once again, FRANKS became one of the anchor tenants of this center which attracts thousands of customers all year round.
Opening Franks Gentlemen’s Essentials @ The Plaza
The Wine Boutique previously located in Mosta was relocated to form part of the refurbished Plaza outlet. This gentlemen’s haven expanded its offering to include the rare and the marvellous in the male universe. In late 2017, the Boutique was rebranded and named “Franks Gentlemen’s Essentials” as it became the leading shop specialising in items relating to today’s modern gentleman such as barbering services, leather goods, cigars and fine spirits.
The art of living beautiful
Our Mission is to open the doors of luxury to all those with a flair for opulence and extravagance. We make sure that our customers are pampered with the best of service on the island and exposed to the latest beauty and fragrant happenings in the top cities of the world.
Our distinctiveness in the sector is transmitted by our personnel, through a delicate interplay between professional competency, gentility and a passion for glamour. Today, after more than one hundred years, Franks is the largest and top retailer of fragrances and cosmetics in Malta, with seven outlets in all the main commercial centers. These exclude the other branches of our ever-growing company, namely the Franks Gentlemen's Essentials.
Much of what FRANKS is today started from a dream, which was developed into a thought process, that transformed into a discussion, and eventually, the implementation of the idea. FRANKS’ developments come with great responsibility to keep the brand and its performance at such a high level. We strive to continue offering shoppers the unique service they experience at our outlets, a key component to our brand’s identity and what truly defines FRANKS. This is achieved mainly through our personnel who, apart from having the necessary professional competencies, possess passion and love for this glamorous line of business.