The Middle East Market has now become the new hub of international retail brands. Playing host to more than 16 million people around the world with strong aspirations and preferences for international brands, the Middle East is indeed a thriving market for retailers. Consumer’s increased disposable income, significant infrastructure, increased passenger traffic among other factors fuelled retail demand in the region.
On top of that, we have seen traditional independent outlets transformed into world class shopping malls with reported increase in shopping space every year obviously caused by many international retail companies penetration in the region. This propelled international brands to gain top positions in their playing field. And with consumer’s changing lifestyles and discretionary demand for goods, retailers have a great opportunity to push their brands forward.
Over the years, the proliferation of brands in the mid-market retail as well as in luxury, supermarket/hypermarket, and airport segments created a healthy competition in the market. Thus, resulting to a wide variety of options available for the consumers. However, there’s always a ‘top of mind’ consumer brand on every retail segment. As the current retail trend in the market pushes these brands to its position, the one who has the capacity to meet the demand of the consumer wins. In the airport retail segment, Emirates is taking the lead as it expanded in fleet size, routes, duty free shopping among other benefits.
As consumer preferences widened, the role of the retailers to meet their demand becomes even more challenging. Today, online retail has increasingly gaining its popularity among consumers. In addition to that, a new breed of retailers none other than the group-buying website operators are enjoying the new trend in online retail. Names like Groupon, Cobone, GoNabit among others offer consumers huge benefits on wide range of products as well as services. Because of this, retailers has to extend its creativity to live up to the consumers new habits, changing preferences and lifestyle. Dubai Mall is a perfect example to this. Not only that it gives consumers a wide array of retail brands, it also created an avenue for consumers to enjoy a one stop shop for all their needs. Dubai Mall has the famous and recently awarded the largest aquarium in the world inside a mall by Guinness World Records, it also houses entertainment, educational and other facilities like cinema, an ice rink and others. The mall is planning an expansion soon. Again, this will add to the increasing shopping space.
We should not also forget that the region has a high consumption of cosmetics and fragrances which gives international brands to gain top position in the market. Also, since the region has reported higher number of lifestyle related diseases, it has introduced new opportunities in health retail sector. Consumers are now moving towards healthy lifestyle. Brands that recognise this trend through their promotions and marketing becomes the most sought after names.
Indeed the region’s current retail trends made a huge impact on the positioning of the top consumer brands in the market. In fact, the world has recognized it.