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8 Mena countries in top 21 for retail outlook

Dubai, June 22, 2010

Eight countries in the Mena region are among the world’s top 21 countries which exhibit the most exciting growth opportunities today for international retailers, said a study.

The ninth annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) study from AT Kearney, a global management consulting firm, has listed Kuwait (rank: 2), Saudi Arabia (4), UAE (7), Tunisia (11), Egypt (13), Morocco (15), Turkey (18) and Algeria (21) among the world’s top 21.

The study said smaller countries including Kuwait, represent increasingly attractive opportunities for international retail expansion. Fiscal stimuli in some Mena markets and the region’s rich oil supply have contributed to the positive outlook.

The Mena region appears poised for fast recovery from the global turbulence and its retail market has proven resilient, the study said.

Retail sales are rising, driven by higher disposable incomes, urban population growth, a strengthening middle class and infrastructure investment, according to the study.

“The attractiveness of the Mena retail markets provides ample opportunities for regional as well as global retailers,” said Martin Fabel, partner, AT Kearney Middle East.

“Our research stresses that establishing operations in a portfolio of countries both small and large offers the best path to global success for retailers.”

In addition to Kuwait, the continued strength of the UAE and Saudi Arabia places these markets among top 10 most attractive retail destinations globally, the study said.

This high rank highlights the abundant opportunities for further in-country expansion and the ability to leverage regional experiences across the Gulf.

As part of this year’s GRDI, AT Kearney also surveyed 60 retail executives from around the world to identify emerging competitive trends and confirm the GRDI rankings.

The study revealed that expansion is also on the agenda for many emerging market retailers – 92 per cent of respondents indicated they are looking to expand beyond their home market, with most expecting to expand into the BRIC countries.

Even though the UAE has moved slightly from fourth to the seventh place in this year’s GRDI, it is the only Middle East destination mentioned by the surveyed retail executives as an expansion destination, the study said.

“The UAE has been a hot spot for several years and is now entering the next level of maturity,” said Dan Starta, partner and managing director, AT Kearney Middle East.

“Retailers are looking to build on their stronghold in the UAE to diversify their portfolio across the region and will continue to actively invest in the attractive markets of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”

“Retail investors should build on global best practices and lessons learned in the region, but understanding the unique differences of each country will be critical,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | AT Kearney | Retail outlook | Mena countries | GRDI study |

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