Retail in the Middle East is a lucrative business because visiting shopping malls is integral to the social landscape of the region today. It’s also highly competitive. Families visit malls for recreation, socialising … and shopping, the reigning paradigm being ‘retailtainment’, with parents browsing stores and socialising while their children spend time in the ‘edutainment’ components that malls routinely offer today.
Yes, retail is lucrative as discretionary spending makes this sector a strong economic performer in the region. The steady influx of best-in-class international brands has seen a sea change taking place in the retail scenario in the region as it sheds its once-local flavour to offer brands from all corners of the globe housed in world-class malls. International retailers are increasingly targeting the Middle East even as their traditional western markets witness a continuing downtrend in the pervasive global economic crisis.
Dr Abdul Majeed Alhokair, president retail – Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co.