DUBAI- The UAE’s fashion and fragrance industry was worth USD54 billion last year, making it one of the top five markets globally and the epicentre of the regions retail development, according to William Kim, CEO of British fashion retailer AllSaints, who earmarked Dubai and the Mid-East region as a ‘critical focus for 2015’ for the London-headquartered brand that has 119 stores globally.
Speaking ahead of his keynote address at the Future Retail Summit – where he will be discussing the evolution of the AllSaints brand and revealing a business model that is being readied to be fool proof by 2020 – Kim said that Dubai and the wider region was being targeted.
He also added that brands and companies need to set trends, and not follow them, citing the work Kim did after taking over the CEO role in 2012, which included launching the in-house music and film arm AllSaints Studios, completely restructuring the technical backbone of the company, and instilling an agile work culture across its 2,500 global employees.
“I believe the success of this depends on making radical changes now, and implementing a process that is progressive and not industry consistent. In that sense our approach is a reflection of our product, our clothes have a rebellious attitude, we don’t chase trends and we have a very individual identity – our business model is no different,” said Kim.
“AllSaints has been approached with business opportunities in every continent, and we are currently assessing and prioritising which markets to seriously consider for 2015 and thereafter. Dubai and the region is a critical focus for 2015,” he added.
The Future Retail Summit 2014, running 17-18 September at the Address Hotel Dubai Marina, will highlight the Middle East’s retail success and global attractiveness, by providing a platform for the top echelon of the Middle East’s retail world to come together and discuss current and future market trends, and how they can be capitilised on.
Humaid Zayed, Head of Retail Leasing at Nakheel and advisory member of the Future Retail Summit also commented on the regions retail potential; “Competitive and mature, the shopping mall industry in Dubai has become glorious and diverse. With the new numerous retail opportunities in the market, it is very challenging to lure retailers to your mall which, as a result, has given birth to new inspiring ideas and attracted brands from the entire globe.”
Some of the key topics for 2014 are: ‘Winners and Loser in Retail; Geographic Markets, Formats, Economic’; ‘The Uprise of Homegrown Talents, Establishments and Cultural Investments’; ‘Customer Service and Operational Excellence’; ‘Innovative and Branding Communication’; ‘F&B Retailing and Franchising’; ‘Going the Extra Mile: Retail, Food & Beverage, Art, Music and Data’, featuring David Thurling, Vice President, Malls with Al Ghurair Properties in the UAE.