Category Archives: Luxury Middle East

GCC retail sector is robust

imagesThe GCC’s retail sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7 percent from end-2011 2 to reach $270.3 billion by 2016, was said in a report Sunday.

Food retail sales are anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 8.8 percent during this period while non-food retail sales are likely to grow at an annual average growth rate of 6.6 percent. Food sales growth will outperform non-food sales growth during the forecast period as high-value and healthier food products could find greater demand.

Sales of supermarkets and hypermarkets in the GCC are expected to grow at an annual average rate of 10.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016. The relatively under-penetrated markets in terms of modern grocery retail formats like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are likely to outperform in this segment.

Duty free and travel retail sales in the Middle East are forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 11.6 percent from 2011 to 2016, outperforming the broader retail industry in terms of growth. The outlook for the luxury segment remains positive and is expected to expand at CAGR of 8.2 percent between 2011 and 2016.

The region’s retail sector has displayed strong resilience in the face of global economic downturn and is expected to continue to grow at a steady pace given its attractiveness to tourists and residents, geographic location, developed logistics and availability of diverse shopping options. While the sector presents attractive opportunities, it is highly competitive and retailers need to continue to innovate so that they can achieve sustainable growth and profitability.

“Retail industry, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the GCC, has thrived over the last several years due to increasing purchasing power, growing expatriate population, changing lifestyle and an expanding tourism & hospitality industry. Retailers have benefited from the government initiatives and progressive policy agenda and have a healthy period of growth ahead of them”, said Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director at a consultancy.

“The region’s retail sector has displayed strong resilience in the face of global economic downturn and is expected to continue to grow at a steady pace given its attractiveness to tourists and residents in terms of geographic location, developed logistics and availability of diverse and quality shopping options. While the sector presents attractive opportunities, it is highly competitive and retailers need to continue to innovate, so that they can achieve sustainable growth and profitability,” said Mahboob Murshed.

Food retail sales are anticipated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8 per cent during this period while non-food retail sales are likely to grow at an annual average growth rate of 6.6 per cent. Food sales growth will outperform non-food sales growth during the forecast period as high-value and healthier food products could find greater demand. Sales of supermarkets and hypermarkets in the GCC are expected to grow at an annual average rate of 10.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

The relatively under-penetrated markets in terms of modern grocery retail formats like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are likely to outperform in this segment.

Duty free and travel retail sales in the Middle East are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.6 per cent from 2011 to 2016, outperforming the broader retail industry in terms of growth. The growth projection has been revised upwards from the previous report primarily in anticipation of higher passenger traffic at the Abu Dhabi and Qatar airports and concourse 3 plans at the Dubai Airport.

The outlook for the luxury segment remains positive and the luxury retail sales is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2 percent between 2011 and 2016. While retail sales in all the countries across the GCC region is expected to register positive growth through 2016, the outlook for Saudi Arabia is the most optimistic .The retail industry in Saudi Arabia is projected to expand at a CAGR of 9.5 percent between 2011 and 2016. All the other GCC nations are likely to register retail sales growth of around 5 percent-7 percent during the same period.

Based on a Moderate Growth scenario calculated at 80 per cent occupancy over the next five years for the supply-side estimates, occupied gross leasable area (GLA) in the GCC is projected to reach 15.8 million sq m in 2016 compared to 11.4 million sq m in 2011 growing at a CAGR of 6.8 percent during the same period. Retailers are expected to continue their focus on improving efficiencies and making optimum utilization of retail space.

Although the projected GLA additions in the GCC are unlikely to create an over-supply situation and vacancy rates are expected to remain under control, retailers may be selective in picking the right space for their stores in shopping malls.

There are several factors contributing to the growth of the GCC retail sector. A consistently expanding population base, young population and growing urbanization make demographics of the GCC highly attractive for retailers of both essential and discretionary products. A growing GDP, substantial government spending on infrastructure and healthcare, low fuel prices and low or no tax incidence, free up a substantial portion of individuals’ income for consumption of food and non-food items and fuelled the growth of the retail industry. GDP per capita (PPP) of all the GCC economies is high and is expected to see a healthy growth. — Saudi Gazette

Read more: http://bit.ly/Z9B1vb

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Luxury retail spending on the rise in the Middle East


By Andy Sambidge

Spending on premium goods and experiences by consumers in the Middle East is on the rise, according to a research on Luxury Spending Tracker.

The tracker said that in all markets except the UAE, consumers plan to increase spending on luxury goods and experiences through to the end of 2012, as their personal circumstances improve. It surveyed a random sample of 1,000 residents drawn from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

It found that residents of Qatar are the biggest buyers of luxury goods across the Middle East, closely followed by consumers in Bahrain.

It said Qataris spend up to $5,000 a month on luxury goods, while consumers in Oman and Jordan are the most conservative shoppers in the region – spending less than $250 per month.

“Consumer attitudes towards spending have begun to improve significantly and there is a noticeable rise in spending on luxury goods and experiences across the region,” said Mazin Khoury, CEO, American Express Middle East.

Luxury products such as cars, high end electronic goods and fashion accessories were identified by respondents as preferred purchases over experiential luxury such as holidays and spa treatments this year.

Fashion topped the list of preferred purchases in 2012, with 37 percent of respondents saying they enjoy shopping for fashion-related items.

Cars were also a leading luxury purchase in 2012, with 31 percent of respondents planning to buy new vehicles this year.

Automobile purchases were highest in the UAE with 42 percent looking to buy new cars in 2012, compared to only 24 percent of Bahraini respondents.

Consumer spending on food and dining out was also highest in the UAE, a likely reflection of the considerable array of international dining options in the country, the tracker showed.

Consumers said Dubai was the region’s prime location for purchasing branded luxury products, selected by 65 percent of respondents.

The emirate was named the preferred shopping destination by 88 percent of respondents from the UAE, 81 percent from Oman, 78 percent from Bahrain and 67 percent from Qatar.

Khoury added: “The inclination towards acquiring tangible luxury goods as opposed to participating in luxury experiences is in keeping with the new consumer sentiment that demands greater value for money.

“Tangible luxury offers greater perceived value as consumers can experience the rewards for their investment over a longer period.”

Read morehttp://www.arabianbusiness.com/mideast-luxury-retail-spending-on-rise-479672.html
Picture– © and credit to Faran Niaz 2012

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Saudi Arabia first pick of global retailers for expansion in MENA

Saudi Gazette – JEDDAH – For retailers looking to make early international moves, particularly at the luxury end, the first annual Retail International Program Expansion (RIPE) Index, published Monday by global built asset consultancy, found that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE present good opportunities, ranked 8th, 11th and 15th respectively.

The countries scored well for the quality of their transport infrastructure, capability of their construction supply chain and their supporting legal framework.

Luxury brands such as Bloomingdales are succeeding in the Middle East with high quality retail space on offer and an overall willingness to do business in the region.

The Kingdom topped the list for MENA region.

Qatar took the second position in the region.

The overall ratings for all the MENA countries were “high” but the only watch-out being project delivery issues.

“What we find is that even the most opaque local bureaucracy can be overcome if the investment into the relationship is made by native speakers with the patience to understand the people, the culture and the procedures,” the report said.

It was the presence of “strong” trading partners and franchise operators such as Majid Al-Futtaim, Al Tayer, Landmark Group, Al Shaya and the Chaloub Group, the report said, meant that market-testing moves can be made with relatively low resource and capital requirements.

Luxury retailers are profiting from the ease of being able to deliver in this market, the report said.

It cited Bloomingdales, as an early mover, whose first store outside of the US opened two years ago, anchoring the Dubai Mall.

The 15,000 square metre, three-level development was undertaken in partnership with Al Tayer and is trading well.

Qatar’s World Cup success presents interesting brand showcasing opportunities, the report said, adding it was anticipated that several major malls will come to market in the lead up to 2022.

International expansion presents great opportunities for retailers experiencing low growth in their domestic markets. Consumer appetite for luxury international brands is strong across the Middle East, and our report suggests that retailers are able to set up much more easily here than in markets such as China or India. Successful international expansion is about balancing the desirable with the feasible. Success is down to making a careful and committed choice, maintaining realistic expectations, and making plenty of adaptations along the way, the report said.

The Ripe index ranks 40 important consumer markets based on five success factors for large-scale roll-outs, drawing out the nuances property leaders should consider as their own organization’s expansion plans evolve.

The report said: “International expansion is the new battleground for retailers experiencing low growth in their domestic markets. Consumer appetite for Western brands in Asia makes these markets attractive, but not always easy to enter.  Successful international expansion is about balancing the desirable with the doable.  Much like a marriage, success is down to making a careful and committed choice, maintaining realistic expectations, and making plenty of adaptations along the way.”

In August, Jones Lang LaSalle’s third quarter global market perspective, said the slowing global economic environment had resulted in European retailers seeking to increase their presence in the Dubai market in recent months, which was fuelling rental growth in popular centers. – SG

Read more on Saudi Gazette: http://bit.ly/RBhOiu

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EVENT – The Role of Conspicuous Consumption in Today’s Society – Seminar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Role of Conspicuous Consumption in Today’s Society
6 November 2012,  3-5 pm – Hilton Metropole, Brighton BN1 2FU
University of Brigthon : http://www.brighton.ac.uk/bbs/research/esrc2012/beyondbling.php?PageId=400

You are warmly invited to participate in the seminar ‘Beyond Bling: The role of conspicuous consumption in today’s society’ funded by the ESRC Festival of Social Science and hosted by Brighton Business School, University of Brighton.

The growing economic and social importance of conspicuous consumption has become a striking feature of the new consumerist societies. The supply of products and services marketed as symbols of social identity and style now represents a significant part of overall economic and commercial activity.

The seminar will bring together practitioners and researchers from sociology, business management and psychology to discuss the effect of conspicuous consumption on present day society. Seminar participants will benefit from sharing experiences with fellow practitioners and learning from cutting-edge research presentations by academics. The seminar aims to showcase the research from Brighton and will also act as a platform for future collaborations between practitioners and researchers.

Topics and speakers:

The changing face of conspicuous consumption in the UK and Middle East

Alexandra de Kerros Boudkov Orloff, CEO of Sacha Orloff Consulting Group, will draw on her own experiences to discuss ostentation among British and Arabic consumers over the past decade.

How do luxury brands promote conspicuous consumption?

Professor Christopher Moore, Glasgow Calidonian University, will discuss the conspicuous triggers used by luxury brands which influence decision making and purchase decisions among consumers.

Conspicuous consumption and value perceptions in developed and emerging markets

Dr Paurav Shukla, University of Brighton, will present his latest research on conspicuous consumption using comparative quantitative data from several developed and emerging markets.

Speaker biographies

Alexandra de Kerros Boudkov Orloff
CEO and Founder of Sacha Orloff Consulting Group.

Prior to founding Sacha Orloff Consulting Group in 2005, she was Managing Director of de Grisogono and part of Senior Management at Groupe Horloger Breguet and Swatch Group; GM of the International Television and Symposium Exhibition in Switzerland and Japan. With over twenty years in the luxury and retail industry, Alexandra brings a wealth of expertise to brand development strategy; restructuration; investments and acquisitions, and, operational performance.

Sacha Orloff Consulting Group is one of the sole consulting companies whose core expertise operates in the service and retail industry, specializing in serving the high-growth potential of GCC and Middle Eastern markets. Sacha Orloff Consulting Group works alongside leading businesses to develop and implement customized solutions, considering technology, innovation, trends and timing that address today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Professor Christopher Moore
Vice Dean of the Glasgow Caledonian Business School.

Prior to his appointment at GCU, Professor Moore was Chair in Marketing and Head of the Department of Management at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. Professor Moore has held visiting Professorial appointments at a number of Universities, including the Universities of Manchester, Surrey, Northumbria and Robert Gordon in Aberdeen. A graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling, his doctoral research was in the area of international fashion brand marketing.

His current research interests include retailer internationalization; luxury brand marketing and trends and developments in youth consumption. Professor Moore has provided consulting and commissioned research services to a wide range of retailers, financial service institutions, media companies and other consumer-facing organisations in the areas of brand management, marketing strategy and consumer intelligence management.

Dr. Paurav Shukla
Reader in Marketing at the University of Brighton Business School.

He possesses wide range of industry and academic experience from middle to senior level in healthcare and media industries. He has been delivering corporate training, teaching and consulting assignments for various organizations in the Europe, Asia and North Africa. Paurav has been involved with various EU funded research projects involving several nations from EU and Asia. He is associated with several academic institutions and corporate organizations including not for profit organizations in the capacity of advisor and board of directors.

His research interests include cross-cultural consumer behaviour, luxury marketing and branding, consumption experiences and marketing issues in emerging markets. He has published on these topics in a wide range of outlets including top peer reviewed journals, international conferences and main stream media including the Woman’s Wear Daily, Business Week, Luxury Society, and National Post of Canada among others.

To confirm your attendance at this free event please email Chris Matthews: C.R.Matthews@brighton.ac.uk
http://www.brighton.ac.uk/bbs/research/esrc2012/beyondbling.php?PageId=400

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Abu Dhabi Duty Free soaring with Luxury Goods

By Rory Jones

Gold, cigars and luxury brands boosted revenues at Abu Dhabi Duty Free by 29 per cent in the first half of the year to Dh380 million (US$103.4m).

The airport retailer experienced record-breaking second-quarter sales and outperformed the passenger traffic rise at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the first half, which increased 22.8 per cent.

The first-half figures for duty free represent a 29.1 rise on the corresponding period last year.

“The continued dynamic growth of the second-quarter sales is due to a combination of factors. [Abu Dhabi Airport Company’s] core objective is to continuously invest in passenger amenities, levels of customer service and real innovation and exclusivity within [its] retail offering,” said Mohammed Al Bulooki, the chief commercial officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac). The company said the luxury brands Burberry, Hermes and Bulgari had all performed strongly, as well as food, cigars and perfume.

“Abu Dhabi Duty Free is launching exclusive products, specifically within perfume and cosmetics, and these are really paying dividends,” said Mr Al Bulooki.

The spend per passenger grew by 8.3 per cent in the first six months of the year compared with last year. “It is very satisfying that [Abu Dhabi Duty Free] has maintained its growth above passenger growth, which is a credit to Adac’s retail partners,” Mr Al Bulooki added.

Abu Dhabi Duty Free is forecasting sales of more than Dh770m for the full year, which would be a record for the company. Adac announced this week 7 million passengers passed through the airport in the first half.

Read more on The National: http://bit.ly/OJNak5

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E-Commerce in Saudi Arabia: Driving the evolution, adaption and growth of e-commerce in the retail industry

Report by Sacha Orloff Consulting Group

Author: Alexandra de Kerros Boudkov Orloff

Full report download: E_Commerce in Saudi Arabia_Driving_The_Evolution_Adaptation_and_Growth_of_ecommerce_in_the_Retail_Industry_SOCG_2012June

Should Saudi Arabia build on the impetus that has been created through the adoption of e-government, a domino effect would trickle down into the private sector and consumer behaviour, with a wide spread of e-commerce penetration. This would create new economic opportunities and enhance the technological innovation capabilities of businesses providing enhanced competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

The Report “E-Commerce in Saudi Arabia: Driving the evolution, adaption and growth of e-commerce in the retail industry” highlights the steps which need to be taken to support the adoption and diffusion of the e-commerce model in Saudi Arabia. Key findings demonstrate that the current spread of e-commerce has been hampered by specific socio-cultural business traits which inhibit the risk-taking characteristics of enterprises. These traits are characterized by a need to implement proven business models;   reduce the risk of failure and an aversion to adopt a business model which may not be suitable to current consumer habits. Moreover, the sluggish uptake of e-commerce technologies by major competitors continues to prove detrimental to the spread of e-commerce.

Saudi Arabia needs to take the lead in driving its retail and e-retail growth, consequently to enforce its position as a key retail business hub in the region with national and foreign direct investment, and technical expertise to drive growth, innovation and positive business confidence.

Opportunities are emerging for private sector firms in Saudi Arabia to address numerous pressing challenges to the adoption of e-commerce solutions. A clear focus on change management processes, innovation, and bridging the talent-gap must be prioritized to ensure the widespread growth of these new channels.

1.     Introduction
2.     Saudi Retail Sector Overview
3.     ICT adoption and penetration in KSA
4.     Emergence and growth of e-government and e-commerce
5.     Challenges and barriers to e-government
6.     Enablers to e-government
7.     Challenges and barriers to e-commerce
8.     Enablers to e-commerce
9.     Online Customer behaviour and intention in Saudi Arabia
10.   Case study – eXtra iconic retailer but non e-conic success story
11.    Conclusion

©Sacha Orloff Consulting Group – all right reserved – June 2012

Also in Arab News – June 21, 2012 – Despite challenges, KSA ripe for e-commerce in retail industry http://www.arabnews.com/despite-challenges-ksa-ripe-e-commerce-retail-industry

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The importance of Innovation in the UAE Retail Landscape

By Alexandra de Kerros Boudkov Orloff

Editorial and released on Dxbuzz magazine May 31st 2012 with the Khaleej Times newspaper.

I have been travelling to Dubai before it was known for being the most opulent retail destination in the world. However, I have increasingly been observing that since 2009, there has been a significant shift in the retail market. Whilst travelling to Dubai this month, my belief that the end of ‘malls as we know it’ has come to a close. The luxury mega malls boom in 2011 should be seen as a sign that some of the existing retail concepts are maturing. Nonetheless to sustain this growth, and adapt to more complex consumer habits, innovation and creativity should form the basis of new retail trends to maintain Dubai’s position in the retail sector.

The robust fundamentals of the UAE consumer market is a fact. Emiratis and GCC consumer have got a higher purchasing power than their European counterparts. Nonetheless, the saturation in the retail sector is leading to questions on how new retails concepts and infrastructure designs can respond to consumer needs. Astute moves by mega-retailers such as Emaar has focused on making retail central to the concept of ‘lifestyle entertainment’.  Malls no longer just offer retail spaces and shops, but consumers are able to enjoy aquariums, water features, skiing, ice-skating and leisurely activities. This not only enhances the consumer experience, but provides much needed activities in a region where nine months out of twelve need to be spent indoors.

The evolution of the retail sector in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has not stopped competing retailers from opening new malls, although primarily a ‘copy and paste’ model is being adopted; modelling on what has worked and not projecting how demographic, social and purchasing power affects consumer behaviour and expectations. For example, Wafi Mall, one of the first malls to open in Dubai is undergoing a complete refurbishment to attract the consumer base it has lost to Dubai Mall or smaller, more local retail spaces. In addition, Dubai Mall is adding thousands of square meters to its existing space in response from the growing demand of international commerce to have a retail space in Dubai.

The desire to be the biggest and most powerful will come at a cost and will outpace market growth. New retail stores will have to drastically shift their marketing strategies to attract consumers, which in turn will off-balance their competitors who will find it difficult to maintain their profit per square meters.  .

Immediate and fairly cost-effective steps can nonetheless be taken by retailers in a segmented approach. First and foremost, investing in consumers is crucial, as they remain their unique assets and is the only manner to spur consumer retention and growth. To achieve this, efforts should be geared towards enhancing the knowledge and skills base of sales as well as sales staff. Employees are the first and sometimes only representation of the retail brand, and regularly lack the necessary brand and company awareness that can then be transmitted to the target consumer. Aside from improving customer services, retail brands have to focus on generating best-practices in the processes and operations. This can be achieved by understanding customer needs through loyalty schemes and rewards, an understanding of the customer mix and segmentation and the promotion of products according to local trends. 

Dubai retailers need to consider seeding new foundations of vertical sources of growth, outside of their existing core business. Whilst brick and mortar are a sound approach, click and mortar is also another source of growth.

In the UAE only, there is vast e-commerce gap, where online purchase could reinforce a healthy competition between malls and virtual retailers. There is enormous share to gain of the modern consumer; who is e-willing to physically and virtually shop.

Other options are organic and modern convenience stores, cash and carry, discounters, and outlet malls mixed with business areas. For an active and busy professional like myself, I enjoy the buzz of the trendy business concept of ‘Make Business Hub’ on JBR; where I hold regularly my meetings with the who’s is who of the  GCC digital scene from Google to Wamda. However, these options are not developed to the fullest in the region, some UAE retailers also have a great potential for implementing changes and innovation in their core businesses enabling to diversify their vertical business structure. Seizing this potential will require astute strategies; with strong organizational development and management to succeed in implementing a more complex business model.   

©Alexandra de Kerros Boudkov Orloff

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