Chalhoub Group is one of Middle East’s largest retailers of luxury brands and it has announced big changes for the United Arab Emirates: they plan on opening 40 new stores in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE. To help you understand just how bold the project is, we should tell you that at the end of 2010 there were only eight stores in the entire city. The idea is to have 50 boutiques by 2013.
To put that into perspective, the group currently has only 88 stores across all seven emirates. Chalhoub’s plan might seem a little too ambitious, but according to Mansour Hajjah, the managing director of Allied Enterprises (the group’s name in the UAE), “the [Abu Dhabi] plan of 2013 is on the right track and being developed at the right pace – not too fast like Dubai”.
He also said that the retailer’s strategy is to aim at the young customers with a penchant for luxury goods: “We see in Abu Dhabi today a young generation with high aspirations for luxury products and a higher purchasing power than Dubai”. Actually, as much as 30 percent of the conglomerate’s sales come from Abu Dhabi residents who travel to Dubai to do their shopping.
The group’s first Carolina Herrera boutique in the capital will be opened within the next few weeks and a pretty impressive number of luxe malls are also on the “waiting list”. So it’s quite obvious that Chalhoub means business when they say they want to bring more luxury to Abu Dhabi. Do you think their rapid expansion plan will succeed?