In 2018, there was a notable decline in outlet numbers for department stores in Egypt, with only Marks & Spencer opening a new store, with the opening of a new shopping centre “Mall of Egypt”. As all department stores tend to be located in urban areas of Egypt such as Cairo and Alexandria, they only target a selected range of customers.
The changing shopping behaviour of Egyptians is the main trigger that prompted stable yet unexciting results for many retail chains. Costs are the biggest concerns amongst Egyptian consumers, and they regularly consider their monthly strict budgets before making any purchase.
Department stores in Egypt may need to adopt new strategies to improve the in-store shopping experience to withstand the shift by many customers towards internet retailing. Department stores in Egypt used to be a prevalent and desirable retail channel for purchasing various brands in physical stores, yet this experience is now being replaced by internet retailing.
Omar Effendi continued to be the leading department store in 2018 in value share terms. It has embarked on a development plan for its entire network since 2016 to enhance their style and become more modernised, and owned 82 outlets in 2018.
The review period witnessed growing competition between some department stores and a number of hypermarkets in Egypt. Similarly, both department stores and hypermarkets are preferable destinations for consumers, as both offer a wide range of products from apparel and footwear, children’s toys, food, durable goods, toiletries and other products that are usually sold at competitive prices, with a small margin added, in conjunction with the launch of many promotions and discounts.
A rising interest in athleisure became a strong trend in the Egypt in 2018. Debenhams launched a separate section for sportswear.
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