Ramadan consumerism has long fixated retailers for it is nothing short of a phenomenon. In the Middle East the festival transcends religious and cultural lines creating an air of excitement while retaining a sense of sanctitude. Historically, at the outset of Ramadan worshippers thronged local souks with friends and family and brought fruits, juices, decorative abayas, quality thawbs, knick-knacks, homeware and more. While the festive spirit remains consumerism trends have evolved steadily in recent years.
For retail where staying in sync with consumer movements is a business imperative Ramadan’s evolving home and fashion trends are hard to ignore. A recent report by Redseer revealed that shoppers’ top-five motivations during Ramadan are cooking, desserts, home decoration, dressing up and self-grooming. Visibly, fashion and homeware are becoming increasingly foregrounded in the festivities.
As customers are more in touch with their spiritual side and inclined to higher spending during Ramadan retailers aspire to strike the right balance in their offerings. For example, while giving a touch of novelty to traditional attire like kaftans through contemporary layering and embellishments many designers are ensuring they are fit-for-purpose for the holy occasion. Such subtle changes are part of larger paradigm shifts.
Modest fashion gains ground
The Global Islamic Economy Report 2022 revealed that spending on apparel and footwear grew by 5.7% to $295 billion in 2021 when pandemic headwinds were at their zenith. Modest fashion accounted for a sizeable portion of this spending. Today, with the pandemic concerns out of the way, retail spending is nearing pre-pandemic levels. It is safe to infer with Ramadan around the corner that modest fashion will get a boost. While this thriving retail category spells opportunities, there is an onus on retailers to ensure it doesn’t stray from its intended purpose. Value-based pricing and staying true to its purpose can take modest fashion to further heights in MENA and beyond.
Sensitivity to price and value
The present-day customer exhibits profound awareness of the retail market, its leaders and their value propositions. So, every brand and product have a perceived value to which the customer ascribes a certain price. It is a business imperative for retailers to ensure their pricing is within that ballpark. Likewise, the price-sensitive customer gravitates toward a brand for the value that the latter has to offer. During Ramadan when retail markets are at their dynamic best that ‘value’ has broad connotations, including but not limited to discounts, lower price points, bundle offers and capsule collections. REDTAG’s ‘New Lower Prices’ initiative is inspired by such Ramadan Consumerism trends.
Catering to digital-first customers
The aforementioned ‘Unwrapping Ramadan 2022’ report also revealed that there was a 36% increase in online purchases during the festive season, accounting for $6.2 billion in e-commerce transactions. Although seemingly an opportunity waiting to be capitalised, wooing digital-first customers requires a meticulous engagement strategy characterised by hyper-personalisation, timely communications and audience segmentation. In e-commerce, even the said ‘value’ enhances in scope with service, delivery with return/exchange efficiencies coming into play. From the festival standpoint the rules of engagement change due to distinctive customer behaviour. Longer time spent because of holidays and more free time, prone to FOMO (fear of missing out) and tendency to click on festival-related discount CTA etc.
Aesthetics on the home front
As opposed to fashion homeware presents ample opportunities for product experimentation during Ramadan. Shoppers long for homeware with an Arabesque hint, preferring themed décor, ornate serving trays, exquisite crockery and weighty cutlery. While stocking up on dinnerware that makes for an extravagant Iftar presentation, shoppers grab soft furnishings, embroidered serviettes and scented candles for good measure. At the same time, shoppers tend to be comparatively more price sensitive due to the less-personal nature of selecting homeware.
In recent years within the purview of modest fashion, in addition to occasional apparel such as decorative dresses and kaftans, designers have also resorted to experimenting with more sober and minimalistic Ramadan outfits. The rationale is to offer shoppers apparel that is season-agnostic and not limited to a certain occasion like Ramadan. Broadly, loose silhouettes, floaty hems and contemporary cuts have made inroads into Ramadan textile culture. For retailers, the priority here is to categorise and sub-categorise apparel – all-season festive, purpose-oriented and strictly conservative. That is perhaps where I believe homegrown brands have the edge due to their sociocultural familiarity. For instance, our Ramadan Collection embodies these trends and brand priorities while staying rooted in cultural sensibilities.
By Shehbaz Shaikh, Chief Retail Officer, REDTAG
The key to a successful omnichannel future
A frictionless omnichannel experience which is predictive, value-focused, and highly personalised isFebruary 16, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Scandinavian brand J Lindeberg capitalises on the rise of athleisure to expand in the UAE
J Lindeberg was started by Johan Lindeberg in 1990s with the aimSeptember 2, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Amazon KSA doubles storage capacity with a new fulfilment centre in Riyadh
KSA e-commerce market set to grow but local players need more support
UAE-based diversified business GMG’s Everyday Goods’ retail division has launched its first
Exactly 11 years ago as a freshly minted expat in the UAE
Cereal Partners Worldwide, the maker of Nestlé Breakfast Cereals and a leading
Grocery major Carrefour, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the
Géant, part of GMG, recently opened two new stores. The brand has
UAE-based diversified family business GMG has launched four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in
The growth opportunity for food and grocery retailers during the Holy Month
From value, variety and convenience to philanthropy GMG retail stores, including 16
MAGGI from the house of the Nestlé is all set to launch
What does 2023 look like for consumers in Saudi Arabia? A Nielsen
Dubai-based food & grocery retailer Union Coop has launched its discount campaign
Around eight years ago in 2015 a brand called Fruitful Day was
UAE-based off-price retailer Brands for Less (BFL Group) has denied reports of
The global sporting and athletic goods market grew from $165.28 billion in
“My business arose out of the need to solve a problem. I
GMG, a global well-being company operating leading brands across sports, everyday goods,
Regional retail conglomerate Apparel Group’s brand Beverly Hills Polo Club marked the
Luxury retailer Chalhoub Group’s Ventures & Acquisitions arm, alongside C4 Ventures, Singular
Luxury retailer Chalhoub Group has signed a joint venture with EssilorLuxottica, a leading
Regional retail conglomerate Apparel Group has expanded in Kuwait with new 12
Spread across 800 sqm (8,611 sqft), eyewear distributor Optitalia Group’s retail brand
Aligned with its expansion plans in the Middle East UAE-based homegrown retail
Regional luxury retailer Chalhoub Group has signed a partnership with Spanish fashion
Conscious footwear brand that’s part of the Apparel Group portfolio in the