The Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) released by A.T. Kearney has placed six Middle Eastern countries in the top 30 most-attractive markets for development opportunities in retail. Following a year that saw oil prices drop, the region has remained an attractive destination for retailers. According to the report, the key focus for the region will be on the long-term prospects for growth in the retail sector. The six Middle Eastern countries in the 2015 GRDI are Qatar, UAE, KSA, Jordan, Oman, and Kuwait.
The UAE has been ranked the eighth most attractive market globally for retailers. The quality of transportation such as roads and metros is a key factor contributing to a retailer’s success as the growing young population and increased number of expats and tourists make the decision to shop based on their accessibility from direct metro links to shopping malls.
Technology is greatly contributing to improved operational efficiency for retailers, but the importance of technology to future business success will become greater. There is, and will be, an overwhelming need to effectively manage the business through business intelligence. Demand-based management can succeed only with real-time data information delivered through increasingly newer forms of technology delivery systems. As a result, retailing will become more personal, and customer data and relationships will become a key asset for retailers.
Retailers have several avenues to reach shoppers in new ways based on need—convenience, choice (or assortment), shopability, price value and even promoting the brand outside the store. Innovations in these categories all make the shopping experience easier, faster, or better for consumers, encouraging them to make more trips and buy more.