Retail in the Middle East is definitely lucrative. But, like in any industry, there are high risks against which we reap great rewards. There are difficulties, although certain teething issues we used to face a few years ago have come down drastically. Malls and retailers have been able to build a healthy relationship and are now very advanced in using technology and bringing the right retail mix to their target audience. Government agencies and municipalities work much faster now. Building a shop isn’t so difficult anymore but infusing experiential elements in it is. Keeping the concepts interesting, ensuring a high level of excitement in-store, offering fulfilling customer service and hiring the right people are some of the challenging areas in retail today. But with the right business strategy, coupled with constant innovation, these hurdles can be turned into opportunities, says Nisreen Shocair.
Concocting the right mix to drive business success
At Virgin Megastore, we always consider top-line, bottom-line, margins and cost structure when it comes to developing strategies for business success. But none of this is relevant if we don’t have in place an excellent concept that attracts the right audience and drives repeat footfall. Maintaining a strong P&L without a soul may work in the short term but that growth will not be sustainable in the long-term. You have to ‘wow’ consumers daily through products and services to keep them coming back. That’s what we work towards, and we derive a lot of fun running Virgin. Our store executives are happy, enthusiastic and always willing to help. It resonates – if our employees are happy, they ensure our customers are satisfied. However, this too isn’t enough…
Nisreen Shocair is president, Virgin Megastore Middle East, a division of Azadea Group Holding, since 2006.