In 2016, consumer expenditure was dampened by a pessimistic economic outlook, as oil prices remained low through most of the year. Less-dynamic consumer expenditure impacted growth of department stores and variety stores, as current value growth in 2016 was much lower than the 10% rise posted in 2015.
Paris Gallery Group of Cos continued to lead mixed retailers in 2016, posting a value share of 28%. It was followed by M H Alshaya with a 9% value share with its department store brand, Debenhams. Paris Gallery is one of the oldest retail brands in the United Arab Emirates, with its first outlet opening in 1981. As of 2016, Paris Gallery had an extensive chain of 27 outlets, and was popular for its premium sales service and a wide assortment of luxury brands. In 2016, the retailer launched a range of premium luxury products, especially fragrances, and continued to record healthy sales growth due to affluent locals and purchases of gift items by tourists. Paris Gallery has introduced a loyalty programme for its customers that enables members to experience the best stores and offers for various products. Paris Gallery is an active participant in the Dubai Shopping Festival, which makes it an attractive avenue for the purchase of luxury products. Over the review period, Paris Gallery expanded its outlets in the wider GCC area and in the Middle East, including the opening of its outlets in Iraq between 2013 and 2015. The retailer is also looking forward to expanding beyond the region by investing in countries such as Turkey and India.
Over the forecast period, mixed retailers is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1% at constant 2016 prices, reaching AED9.9 billion in 2021. Channel growth is expected on the basis of positive development within department stores, as the performance of variety stores is likely to be hampered by the introduction of competitive pricing by department stores, which will maintain their popularity, and the introduction of economically priced products within the grocery retailers channel.
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