A Global Retail Invasion
Unrest or not, the Middle East, global retailers forge on with regional expansion, hoping there won’t be any long-term impact on people’s desires to buy international.
April 17, 2011 1:05 by Precious de Leon
Kipp remembers seeing a test on TV, with a reporter showing random people somewhere in the US photographs of shopping mall interiors and asking them to identify where these malls were located. Almost all of those polled were not able to distinguish one mall from another, proving that a mall in China looked just like the mall in Arizona—if you didn’t look at the demographic of mall goers, that is.
Cookie cutter retail brands, homogenous brands, whatever you’d like to call them, are the most successful invaders in the planet, thinks Kipp. There’s a McDonald’s in the Forbidden City in China, There are H&M stores in most malls in India and there’s a Shake Shack Burger that just opened in Dubai and is soon to open in Kuwait.
That’s why when Kipp travels, we tend to gravitate towards destinations that look the least commercialised. Yes, we still travel with our smartphones (but not the laptop as our better half will not be too pleased). But when we say the commercialised world, what we mean is seeing chain stores like McDonald’s, Gap and Next all over the city. ‘Cause we’re snooty about globalised markets like that.
The last place Kipp remembers that’s not been (heavily, at least) invaded by such global retailers is Seychelles…Not a Starbucks or Burger King in sight. Bliss.
But of course it’s only a matter of time isn’t it? At least that’s what it looks like where CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) stands.