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Interview: MENA is the next big ‘value’ shopping destination

Splash CEO, Raza Beig

The Landmark Group's CEO for Splash and Iconic, Raza Beig, speaks to Kipp about cashing in on the value retail boom in the MENA market.

August 6, 2012 8:56 by

What prompted the recent expansion of Splash into African markets, apart from Egypt? Could you give us an insight into consumption patterns of value retail in those markets?
Going Global is a reality for us and since our footprints are well covered in the Region, further expansion into the African market was the way forward. From the research we got, we analyzed the immense opportunities in the value fashion retail segment in these markets and opening of stores in Libya, Tanzania and Kenya in 2012 is Phase 1 of the expansion plans, infact our first store will be opening in Tanzania this month.   In terms of consumption our partners have the know-how and expertise and they believe Splash is a perfect brand for the fashion value conscious consumers in the market.

Splash and Iconic are two of the very few value fashion retail chains in the luxury- oriented Middle East market. How much has the value and mass fashion retail sector grown in the last 5 years and what is the projected growth in the near future for this segment in the region?
In the last 5 years, the segment has exploded and we have seen a lot of value fashion retailers like H&M, New Look and similar brands grow extensively and similarly Splash has also doubled its turnover. Today the value fashion retail segment is very competitive and extremely crowded but this segment will be able to sustain as the markets are shifting to value-oriented fashion. How far that can grow is the question which is to be seen in times to come.

What is the scope for online retail in the MENA market- including ecommerce via websites and mobile apps? Is that something Splash and Iconic are looking at exploring in the near future?
The opportunity is immense and there is a definite shift towards online retail in the market. As a Group, Landmark is working on online sales. We will be launching an e-commerce website for Splash in October with around 1000 of our popular styles and with opportunity round the corner this is the perfect time to launch the same.

What is the potential for this market in the near future vis-à-vis that of luxury fashion retail in the region?
I do believe that there is a fairly good market for luxury which is here to stay but we also see a lot of pressure on bridge brands. Every market evolves and Middle East is rapidly gaining the reputation of a value shopping destination. I am also confident that retailers focused on their customers in any segment will do well.

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