LEADING RETAIL DESIGN AGENCY IN DUBAI
As with banking and F&B, there is a huge range of expectations when it comes to retail design in the Middle East: you have the luxury malls such Al Hamra (KSA), Avenues (Kuwait) and Dubai Mall (UAE), you have the more youth-orientated areas like Boxpark in Dubai, and then you have the more every-day stores – where competition is just as strong.
On top of that you have an e-retail sector that is just about to take off. As of July 2018, online shopping only represents 2% of retail sales in the Middle East, compared to 15% in western markets of Europe and North America.
E-commerce has been held back by a combination of unreliable home addresses and a customer-base that has historically favoured cash over cards. You can be confident this is about to change given Amazon’s entry into the market with its 2017 acquisition of Souk.com and Mohamed Alabbar (founder of Emaar, developer of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall)’s $1BN investment in Noon – an e-commerce start-up founded with the express intention of beating Amazon at its own game across the Middle East and North Africa (… and possibly beyond).
What does this mean for retail design – and how can I-AM help?
The Middle East hosts an experience-hungry, cosmopolitan group of consumers, many of whom have regular exposure to global best-practice when they travel internationally.
The emergence of e-commerce requires a smart omni-channel strategy: Perhaps you need fewer brick-and-mortar stores, but those you do have need to be as engaging as possible and intelligently linked to your online offer.
As ever, understanding who your ideal customers are – and what they want from a retail experience is the first step in the process.
Local-market adaptation may be necessary for international brands. This is something on which I-AM has helped the likes of Waitrose, John Lewis and Starbucks.
Making a powerful brand statement in a cluttered market is essential; this can be achieved through the use of stand-out (digital) signage and intelligent architectural and concept design.
Whatever your needs, I-AM is at your service for any or all of the following work:
- Target audience profiling
- Competitor benchmarking
- Omni-channel retail strategy
- Local-market adaptation
- Name generation
- Brand mark and strapline
- Brand / Corporate identity
- Customer journey design
- Merchandising strategy
- Architecture and fascia design
- Branded interior design
- Furniture and materials specification
- Website and app design
- Regional rollout