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2022 Luxury Shopping Trends in the Middle East

Many big brands have recognised the Middle East's opportunity for luxury retail, especially inside the UAE’s hugely popular mega-malls. Shopping trends have begun to shift recently so retailers need to be prepared by discovering the critical luxury shopping trends of 2022.

The Middle East is widely known as a leading destination for luxury retail and fashion, attracting discerning shoppers from around the world. The UAE in particular is home to a number of large scale fashion and luxury events held annually in Dubai and other Emirati states. It is therefore no surprise that so many luxury brands have recognised the opportunity this offers and have opened stores inside the UAE’s hugely popular mega-malls.

Below are the critical luxury shopping trends retailers should be aware of when operating in the UAE.

Luxury fashion will continue to grow 

Index Dubai notes that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry forecasts that UAE retail sales will grow by 6.6% annually to reach AED 258 billion (US$ 70.5 billion) by 2025.  Statista predicts $495.90m is likely to be spent on luxury fashion in the UAE this year, beaten only by luxury watches & jewellery with a suggested market volume of $1,654m.

Shoe shopping is one vertical which is predicted to see growth in the area, due to customer demand and retailer presence. This is backed by stats from  Zafrilla which show that luxury shoe brands exported from Italy grew by close to 40% in 2021, suggesting that luxury shoe shopping is very popular and has become more so since the pandemic.

Luxury sales will still predominantly take place in store

Statista claims that almost 78% of luxury sales are predicted to happen offline by 2025, while Index Dubai has also predicted that bricks and mortar retail sales are estimated to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 5.7%. However, since the pandemic, consumer habits have evolved to become increasingly hybrid. Online shopping has become an integral part of the customer experience with Gulf Business noting that customers utilise online portals to research merchandise and then come to the store to experience and ultimately complete the purchase.

Immersive experiences will remain significant in boosting sales

Vogue business suggests that new concept stores are key to retail sales success in the UAE as they bring hospitality and retail together into one location. Elisa Bruno, general manager of Level Shoes, the world’s largest shoe store, says: “[UAE] is very demanding of experiences, services and the ability to select products that tap into the local culture, while having a very international look and feel. Concept stores are important to the retail mix.” Not only do immersive experiences provide a service that cannot be emulated online but they also encourage both locals and tourists to visit the store to experience something new.

Dubai in particular has the reputation of pushing the boundary between retail and new experiences to redefine the customer experience. This innovative approach means that luxury brands operating in the area lead the way in shaping the future of physical shopping.

Data analytics will become increasingly important

Implementing retail technology has become massively important to the Middle East and retailers are keen to make the customer shopping data collected from every touchpoint work for them. Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, has suggested that data analytics will be the perfect opportunity for businesses to drive customer behaviour this year. By unlocking key insights into every shopper, data analytics will help bridge the gap between offline and online shopping as well as create a personalised experience for every customer in store, improving sales, retention and loyalty. Additionally, loyal customers will not only improve repeat custom but also spread the word to others - Arabian Business claims that 89% of loyal customers in the UAE were found to recommend their favourite brands to friends and family.

Red Ant as a global retail tech provider

At Red Ant, we view our clients as partners. We are invested in helping their stores flourish rather than just selling them the software to do so. As an employee-owned company, we do better if our clients do better, guaranteeing our commitment to helping your stores succeed. We make sure RetailOS supports and empowers your retail operations for the long term, wherever your stores are. By ensuring our retail platform is updated and improved to meet the needs of our clients, retailers can be reassured that the solutions we provide are truly global, up to date, forward-thinking and future proof. Our award-winning tech is proven to maximise sales, deliver exceptional customer service and drive operational performance.

Our omnichannel retail platform brings essential retail apps together with your existing systems, content, and data into a single colleague hub and is informed by retail data analytics. With everything in one place, RetailOS permits your store associates more time to do what they're best at – delivering brilliant customer service. 

Take the first step and contact us for a demo today.

2022 Luxury Shopping Trends in the Middle East

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