Saudi luxury retailer takes to value in Dubai

Saudi Arabia’s Rubaiyat has adopted with the Orsay value-for-money label in the UAE.

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A woman wears a niqab as she pushes her caddy in Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, as she shops in Doha.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A woman wears a niqab as she pushes her caddy in Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, as she shops in Doha.

REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

Dubai

A luxury focused retailer can always try and find a good fit with value brands ... especially when it wants to build up in a new territory. This is the strategy that Saudi Arabia’s Rubaiyat seems to have adopted with the Orsay value-for-money label in the UAE.

The second Orsay store is opening at Ibn Battuta Mall, following on from the one that opened last year at the Sahara Centre. “It’s a German brand and European shoppers are already aware of it,” said Romana Pristavu, brand manager for Orsay at Rubaiyat. “Opening the flagship store in Ibn Battuta gives us the opportunity to raise its exposure, and even with shoppers who might be coming across it for the first time.

“Orsay has been expanding beyond its home markets in recent years, initially wit its own stores and, of late, through franchise agreements of the sort we have.”

But Rubaiyat in Saudi Arabia is known for its roster of super-premium labels — Brioni, Gucci, Karl Lagerfeld and Burberry, among others — than the value universe as represented by an Orsay.

“Those brand representations are for Saudi Arabia and in some instances for Bahrain as well,” said Pristavu, “That’s a space we occupy quite well in those markets. But with Orsay, we had the rights for the Gulf markets and that’s an opportunity to build the brand first in the UAE.

“We will pursue all opportunities to add to the store network in this market and then decide the first steps in a new one.”

The value-for-money apparel space has been particularly busy in recent years, with a slew of European, Far East and Turkish brands venturing through franchises. With shoppers more circumspect, such labels being seen as less susceptible to dips in consumer sentiments.

“Everyone knows the situation in the market ... that’s not the same as saying retailers should stop expanding where possible,” said Pristavu.

This week is turning out to be a busy one for retail and F&B openings in Dubai. The department store chain Robinsons makes its debut in the region, by opening at Dubai Festival City. And there is also a first overseas presence for the red-hot Turkish restaurant brand, Babaji of London, which opens at City Walk.

By Manoj Nair Associate Editor

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.