From kiosks to flagship store: izil’s transformation that delivered over 300% growth


June 20, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

UAE-based Moroccan beauty brand izil’s constant transformation and evolution to meet the changing customer expectations have resulted in over 300% Y-O-Y growth of the brand over the past 3 years.

Founder Mouna Abbassy started her retail journey with selling products on facebook and then opening six kiosks in different malls in the UAE until 2016. In 2016, Abassy decided to close all the existing kiosks and open a singular kiosk in Dubai Mall and launch an e-commerce website.

izil opened its own GMP-certified manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah in 2019. Subsequently, a year later, on June 30th, 2020, a unique flagship store was launched in the Dubai Mall after another brand revamp.

“Firstly, we learnt that The Dubai Mall gave us enough visibility. Secondly, we needed to focus on growing the e-commerce, and finally, converting all the kiosks to the new design would have been very costly for the brand”, said Mouna Abbassy, explaining why they decided to close all kiosks and open one unified flagship store.

The introduction of the flagship store strengthened sales further and provided more stability than its previous kiosks. “It definitely helped the business financially thanks to higher sales than the previous kiosk, but it is also a long term investment in a concept that we are planning to franchise in the future once it is completed,” he added.

Up until 2020, Saudi Arabia was izil’s biggest market, but after the second revamp, opening of the new store and strengthening of its e-commerce portfolio, the UAE is now its primary market.

“The UAE growth was much stronger during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the implementation of the 15% VAT in Saudi plus stricter rules at the customs made it harder for us to sell in Saudi Arabia (we sell exclusively through e-commerce in that market). However, we still see it as the biggest GCC market in terms of potential and we are taking the necessary measures to develop izil there,” she concluded.

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