Centrepoint to pilot mobile point of sale in its UAE stores

In the coming months, the retailer, owned by Dubai-based Landmark Group, plans to pilot a new payment system that is expected to cut down queues.

  
Image used for illustrative purpose Men walk past a Reiss store at Dubai Mall shopping center in Dubai.

Image used for illustrative purpose Men walk past a Reiss store at Dubai Mall shopping center in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh

Friday, Sep 09, 2016

Dubai: Standing in long queues can be frustrating for consumers. Centrepoint, a multibrand store, aims to change that.

In the coming months, the retailer, owned by Dubai-based Landmark Group, plans to pilot a new payment system that is expected to cut down queues. Customers will be able to pay for a product wherever they are in the store using an mPOS (mobile point of sale) device, which acts like a cash register.

“The last thing a customer wants is to wait for a long time to pay for a product,” Simon Cooper, head of Centrepoint, told Gulf News in an interview on Thursday.

Besides leveraging technology to enhance customers’ shopping experience, Centrepoint plans to expand its presence in the Gulf region, where it currently has 132 stores.

The company will invest around Dh2 billion over the next five years in new locations and renovations of existing outlets, Cooper said. It plans to open 75 outlets during this period, with 17 and 21 planned for 2016 and 2017 respectively, and renovate around 20.

This year, new locations will open in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, and next year, City Mall and Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi and Oasis Mall in Dubai, among others. By the end of 2017, Centrepoint aims to have over 150 outlets in the region, and 200 by 2020.

Growth in the Gulf

Cooper says he sees more room for growth in the UAE, adding that the company will go ahead with plans in the country, despite the drop in oil prices, which has negatively affected consumer sentiment.

“We’re optimistic about business in this market … we’re more cautious and discerning about where we go but if there’s a great opportunity and our customers expect to see a Centrepoint in that location then we will seriously consider it,” he said.

The company’s sales in the financial year ending June 2016 rose around 5 per cent year-on-year, lower than the 10 per cent growth recorded in the previous financial year, despite opening new stores. “Some of our new stores tend to start off slowly and then build up to a much better performance,” Cooper said. He declined to give the actual sales figures.

Centrepoint is focusing on growth in the Gulf. It is in talks with developer Nakheel to bring its brands to Al Khail Avenue in Dubai, which is expected to open in 2019, according to Cooper.

It is also interested in expanding in the Northern Emirates, such as Umm Al Quwain. “We have had some conversations in terms of looking for locations [in Umm Al Quwain],” Cooper said.

Centrepoint operates over 132 stores in the region including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Its brands include Babyshop, Splash, Shoe Mart and Lifestyle.

By Sarah Algethami Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2016. All rights reserved.

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