Middle East Attracts Over 55% Global Brands


UAE consumer spending to reach over Dh750 billion by 2017

storeDubai, United Arab Emirates: The Middle East is becoming the global retail growth hotspot and shaping up the future of online retail, with over 55% international fashion brands setting up shop here for a customer base that is increasingly online. Besides these, the region also has an increasing population that is ready to spend, as per a recent study by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UAE consumers will be spending over Dh750 billion by 2017.

Earlier this year, JLL’s Destination Retail report has identified five cities, including Dubai, Kuwait City, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, and Riyadh, as global ‘growth cities’. A growing flow of tourists and dedicated shopping events across the region, as well as increasing urbanisation, have contributed to the unprecedented growth of retail in these cities.

Maqdoom Mohammed, Director Sales – Middle East & Africa, TSC Auto ID Technology ME Ltd FZE, says “The overall retail sector, both online and in-store, in the Middle East is projected to reach USD1.05 trillion in 2017. This means the retail industry is looking at a bright future in the region.  Existing retailers are expanding, while new local and international players are entering the market. Although there is a lot of online retail platforms, in-store experience is improving all the time, thanks to technology. Innovations like smart shelves, mobile pay and interactive apps are closing the gap between in-store and online, making shopping more enjoyable for today’s customer.” TSC Label and Barcode Printers fits in all the Retail Environment from Desktop to Industrial and to Mobile Applications. Their new acquisition of Printronix AUTO ID, provides solutions for RFID to make Retail Sector very easy.

With e-commerce transactions in the region reaching over USD15 billion in 2015, the region is also seeing tremendous growth in online shopping. According to reports, over 75% of the population in the region is using the internet on their mobile devices. Retail brands are strategizing their businesses around consumer preferences with innovative solutions like omnichannel retail, same day delivery, self-service, and mobile pay etc. Shoppers are also keen to buy straight from social media, and these networks are starting to provide them with ways to do this with ‘buy’ button feature on social media posts.

According to Mr. Rolly Martins, IT head & Product Development Manager, I Solve IT, there are huge changes in the retail environment in the region due to major changes in the customer’s buying habits. “Retailers are now designing their businesses around customer experience rather than by channel, and enabling the customer to choose not only what they buy, but also how they would pay for a service or product. Some of the trends we see include innovation in delivery solutions and social influence, perhaps, brand building side of social channels is now one of the biggest sales influencers for web-savvy consumers.”

“What do your connections feel about a product, how trending is it on social media, how does the brand engage you, how quickly a brand rectifies things once consumers share negative experiences – all this is happening in real time and very much in the public domain,” he added.

Smart Stores Expo 2017, happening in January, is designed to showcase developments in the retail industry under four broad categories – Smart Store Design, Smart Store Technologies, Smart Store Services and Smart Virtual Stores.

Jayaraman Nair, Chairman, VIS Exhibitions and Conferences, organiser of the Smart Stores Expo 2017 said, “Retail sector was never so vivid, today shopping has become a convenient affair, and the in-store and online innovations have allowed the customer to leave a clear digital footprint for retailers to follow and engage with. Retailers investing in understanding and engaging customers through innovative technologies will win in the coming years. With Smart Stores Expo, we aim to bring together retailers, suppliers, as well as technology, design and equipment providers to discuss latest trends and address future requirements of the regional retail market.”

Smart Store Expo will be held from 23-25th January 2017, at ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company).