Page 1



Saudi Arabia

Massive growth for leisure & entertainment destinations

Zero 6

Bridging the gap to a new experience in Sharjah

The Why

of a shopping mall

Leisure and Entertainment

IMG Worlds of Adventure – the world’s largest indoor theme park













Experiential Shopping at IMG Worlds of Adventure

Saudi Arabia – A Vibrant Market for Leisure and Entertainment




Alef Group Launches “new generation” of Business and Leisure Developments with “Zero 6”

Innovation & Customer Service is the Key. Interview with Fahad Al Othaim, President of Al Othaim Group

The Why of a Shopping Mall




Mall of Qatar – The First SuperRegional Mall in Qatar

A Whole New Level of Leisure and Entertainment

Visual Merchandising The Way Forward




Global Shopping Center Designs Trends

Retailing Growth of Franchise in Lebanon

NEXTGEN Events Cairo, Beirut & Riyadh

1 6

K.A.S.H Profile for TODAY


5 MONITORING Coaching and Counselling Follow up


Disclaimer: The viewpoints, articles and opinions contained in the Retail People Magazine are not necessarily those of the MECSC or ICSC.

2 K.A.S.H Profile for the FUTURE

AUDIT The Development Circle

4 DELIVERABLES In-House Workshop(s)

Retail Training Circle

MANAGEMENT PRE-WORKSHOP to review content and follow up

33 Driving the Future of Retail Experience Retail People | 3


Middle East Council of Shopping Centres 803, BurJuman Business Tower PO Box 43972, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 359 7909 Fax: +971 4 355 8818 David Macadam CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER DAVID@MECSC.ORG






Media One Tower Dubai Media City PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 427 3000 F: +971 4 428 2261 Chris Capstick PUBLISHER




4 | Retail People

The April Edition of the Retail People Magazine is full of the highest number of articles in one issue since we began the publication. I would like to begin by thanking our team at the MECSC headed by Mariz Matocdo who so capably assembled this quarters Retail People Magazine. Our sponsors, contributing authors and members have been very supportive of the magazine again. Thank you all!!! Printed in time for distribution with the slightly earlier arrival this year of the John T Riordan Global School for Retail Professionals held April 17 to 22 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai, this quarterly issue is themed Leisure and Entertainment. The feature article Experiential Shopping written by the CEO at IMG Worlds of Adventure, Lennard Otto. Soon to open in Dubai, the Worlds of Adventure speaks of the massive undertaking required to deliver these theme parks. An initiative spearheaded by the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide another feature for our tourists and the local market, this new offering in Leisure and Entertainment is sure to be of interest to our readers. The Why of a Shopping Centre, penned by Alessandro Gaffuri takes us through a thought provoking read. A must read for the shopping centre professionals who must ask themselves this question everyday. Simon Wilcock, CEO of Arabian Centres has penned a very interesting article on the state of FEC’s and MEC’s in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Of note in Simon’s article is the financial returns of these entertainment and leisure anchors in shopping centres can have a very rapid return on equity. Good news for the industry. The Alef Group from Sharjah launches its innovative retail project Zero 6. A multiuse lifestyle retail venue this new project will be a great new addition to the retail footprint in Sharjah. Written by Jamal Al Shawish, Director of Leasing and Sales at the Alef Group, Jamal has some interesting insights for our members to learn from. Naomi Sargeant, Director of Marketing from Mall of Qatar highlights the experience we will enjoy when entering the soon to open Mall of Qatar. In this hotly contested market, the best offering will rise to the top. You will learn how to keep ahead of the competition when reading this article. Visual Merchandising is an industry to itself. Our author of this article Anand Govinand who is the Executive Director of Abra VM & SD International writes about what is new and trending in the visual merchandising arena bringing with it brand loyalty and increased sales. Industry veteran Phil McArthur, Managing Director of McARTHUR + COMPANY outlines new Global Shopping Centre Design Trends. Written from the experience of his many travels, this article is sure to update the readers of the new experiences in the shopping centre industry from a global perspective. Brian Evans, Director of The Solutions Group writes on the Six (6) stages for developing the Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits of your sales team. Brian has assisted many companies over the past years in the region to maximize their sales potential through training. His article gives a great overview of the processes he uses for implementing training programmes. Richard Tan, Executive Director of InfoCommAsia Pte Ltd has written an inspiring article on the future of retail. Showcasing a

new system for delivery of a New Wave of Engagement reveals a new technology. Samar Akkou and Nabil Gebrael have co-written an article on the significance of franchise retailers in the Lebanese economy. Contributing significantly to the GDP of the economy, franchising is growing quickly in the Levant. An interview with Fahad Al Othaim uncovers more insights into the Leisure and Entertainment business in Saudi Arabia. The Whole New Level of Leisure and Entertainment is the article penned by Samar Akkou. The article features the amazing new cinema attraction combined with an amazing food offering in Solidaire. Having toured this new entertainment and leisure establishment named Cinema City recently in Beirut, I can personally recommend to all to take the time to visit this amazing new entertainment venue there. This quarter’s edition of Retail People Magazine also have great photos of our members enjoying the Networking Sessions our Regional Reps and generous sponsors have created. I know that you will have as much enjoyment from reading this magazine as we have in creating this Leisure and Entertainment edition of Retail People. Enjoy!!! One of our roles at the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres is to provide a platform for open communication to make the retail industry a better and more informed place. A key to success for our team is to help you to facilitate your business and to raise your personal profile in the retail industry locally, regionally and globally. The Retail People Magazine is circulated in 45 countries and softcopies digitally delivered to 10,000 readers. We receive great comments from our members who utilize our magazine to showcase their latest successes. Our advertisers also tell us they have positive feedback and recognition from the ads placed with us. As we approach the deadlines for publishing each issue our team at the MECSC receives significant articles written by the retail leaders in the region. Please join in the excitement, take the time to write something which is prominent in your mind. Support your career and the MECSC by writing articles about the corner of the retail industry which you want to showcase. Mariz at so capably handles the Retail People Magazine and would be pleased to work with you to publish your work. We truly appreciate the support of our members, writers and advertisers who contribute in so many ways to the success of the Retail People Magazine. Thank you and please enjoy this April 2016 issue of the Retail People Magazine!!

David Macadam CEO MECSC

Shane Eldstrom, CRX, CSM, CLS, CDP COO, Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC MECSC Board President




Magrabi_DPS_Retail People 301115.indd 1








30/11/2015 17:3


ExpEriEntial Shopping at iMg WorldS of advEnturE What do you see being the key global retail trend? The most prolific trends in retail in the past decade have been the exponential growth and acceptance of online shopping. This new e-commerce era has created a rippling effect in the traditional in-store retail model causing retailers to rethink their prior established methods of doing business. Omni-channel strategies are just one method that traditional retailers have used to stay in the game. Another solution is to create a more enjoyable and engaging in-store shopping experience. For example, brands like Apple are now seen as part of a lifestyle, making the store itself the dwelling destination, rather than focusing solely on the end transaction. By inspiring people to spend time at their outlets, companies that have provided better in-store experiences for their customers have enjoyed higher profits and multiple visits over a longer period of time.

lennard otto CEO, IMG Worlds of Adventure 6 | Retail People

IMG Worlds of Adventure Theme Park

In 2016, global retail sales are expected to grow by 3.2 percent as brands increase the value of the average transaction by improving the overall customer journey. Bringing entertainment into the retail forum is considered by some to be the way forward for bricks and mortar retailers. At IMG Worlds of Adventure, we are not only bringing entertainment to retail, we are bringing retail to the world of entertainment through integrated immersive experiences.

hoW Will you use modern technology to improve your customer experience? Today virtually every customer transaction uses some form of modern technology. The customer journey is no longer confined to time spent within a physical outlet alone. For example, a study by MasterCard found that eight out of ten customers now use a computer, smartphone, tablet or in-store technology when making a purchase.



At IMG Worlds of Adventure we use a combination of robust technological platforms, combined with highly immersive in-store activations, to create a unified experience and seamless omni-channel offering. From augmented reality environments to a state-of-the-art customer journey using advanced mobile technology, we have made it a priority to tick all of the multi-channel boxes in order to deliver a one-of-akind retail and entertainment experience for our guests. Cartoon Network

As such, we have ensured that the mere act of shopping becomes part of the adventure itself. Therefore the majority of the stores are strategically located at the ride exits so once guests have enjoyed our thrilling attractions they continue through to our stores, which are designed and merchandised to reflect the same themed concept. Our use of interactive kiosks, digital screens and gamification within the store is how we will drive product sales and visitation. The bespoke and limited-edition gifts, collectables, and apparel then become a token of our guests’ epic adventure and a lasting memento.

hoW important is merchandise? There is an overwhelming global demand for branded merchandise, especially character and entertainment-related products. We have invested considerable care and time in the design and selection of our products to bring some of the world’s most popular characters and superheroes to life. From Spider-Man and The Avengers to The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, and The Amazing World of Gumball, there are over 5,200 product lines of which 63 percent are entirely bespoke, with something unique for even the most discerning fans.

hoW is img Worlds of adventure contributing to dubai’s 2020 vision for the tourism sector of achieving 20 million visitors? What do you think differentiates your retail offering? At IMG Worlds of Adventure, our retail offer has evolved to become a virtual extension of our rides and attractions, offering our guests a full 360 degree immersive environment. IMG Boulevard

Mr. Ilyas and Mr. Mustafa Galadari, owners of IMG Worlds of Adventure are aligned with Dubai’s vision as the theme park contributes to two main tourism drivers: retail and leisure. IMG Worlds of Adventure will be the region’s first international theme park, bringing together global brands MARVEL and Cartoon Network for the first time, along with IMG Boulevard and Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure giving tourists from around the world another reason to visit Dubai. As the world’s largest indoor theme park at 1.5 million square feet, IMG Worlds of Adventure will be a-year-round destination. Its unique immersive experience and mix of rides, attractions, retail and F&B, IMG Worlds of Adventure brings the best of leisure, retail and entertainment to tourists and residents alike. Retail People | 7

Saudi Arabia

Saudi arabia a vibrant market for leiSure and entertainment


eisure and entertainment options draw significant footfall in any mall today as consumers across the world look for a modern shopping center where they can shop, eat and be entertained. In Saudi Arabia, and in other GCC countries, an added factor is the weather conditions which make shopping malls an intrinsic part of the fabric of everyday life in the Kingdom. Leisure and Entertainment are key factors in the Kingdom’s retail industry, which features a thriving market for Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) and Multi Entertainment Centres (MECs), a nod to Saudi Arabia’s role as an increasingly important retailtainment player. In part, this growth is fueled by retail real estate developers such as Arabian

Simon Wilcock Chief Executive Officer, Arabian Centres 8 | Retail People

Billy Beez

Centres, which continues to transform the retail sector that is underserved and highly fragmented. Arabian Centres currently operates 17 shopping centres across 10 cities in the Kingdom, representing about 10 per cent of the country’s organised retail space. In recent years, multi-brand retailers have introduced several leisure and amusement concepts that are attractive, diverse and safe. Some of these concepts range from indoor parks - Sparky’s and Sky Zone - to awardwinning edutainment avenues - Kidzania and Billy Beez – to amusement and games room areas – Faby Land and Saffori Land. Often, these amusement concepts serve as key anchors in many shopping malls. This is a strong indication that Saudi Arabia is a true retailtainment success story, offering massive growth opportunities in the

Saudi Arabia

Food Court Al Nakheel Riyadh

Kingdom. However, the balance is shifting aided by a strong desire by Saudi customers for new concepts. Much of the future success for the leisure and entertainment segment depends on innovation, and the next few years will see the segment evolving further, focusing on achieving critical mass through new and innovative amusement concepts. Huge success has been made in this regard. Al Hokair Group, already pioneers in the entertainment business space, continues to add uniqueness, excitement and fun to this segment, in line with its commitment to develop and support the younger generation and the local community. It has introduced two trampoline parks in the Kingdom, franchised from Sky Zone in the US, in addition to 5D cinemas and a huge soft-play concept called Snowy. A further, critical catalyst in the further evolution of retailtainment

Arabian Centres currently operates 17 shopping centres across 10 cities in the Kingdom.

Entertainment Area Al Salaam Mall Jeddah

is the dynamic growth of Food & Beverage (F&B) retail, a category that stretches from boutique grocers, to food courts to fine dining formats. Notably, the Kingdom leads the region with total foodservice sales accounting for nearly half the GCC market, which is predicted to grow at 6.8 per cent CAGR by 2018. F&B continues to be a lucrative revenue stream for a mall, but future growth depends on the mall capacity to deliver this change. Arabian Centres is at the forefront of this trend, our aim being to increase the F&B mix from the current 5-10 per cent to 15-20 per cent of the Gross Leasable Area (GLA), showcasing premier F&B brands and a variety of restaurants. The surge in F&B activity in shopping malls is expected to attract foreign retailers over the next few years, introducing

brands to the market in an effort to capitalise on a currently underserved sector. These openings will also mark the regional launch of the brands, a nod to Saudi Arabia’s role as an increasingly dominant retail F&B player. In conclusion, the leisure and amusement business is rapidly growing in Saudi Arabia. The coming years will increasingly see significant shift to innovative leisure and entertainment options, driven by a strong desire by Saudi consumers for newness and family entertainment avenues. For brands able to invest, support and contribute to this growth, the potential rewards are vast. Simon Wilcock is the Chief Executive Officer of Arabian Centres, a leading developer, owner and operator of shopping malls in Saudi Arabia.

Kidzania Jeddah

Retail People | 9

Alef Group





Jamal Al Shawish Director of Leasing & Sales Alef Group

eflecting Sharjah's rich history of culture, education and architecture, Alef Group is pioneering worldclass residential, retail, business and leisure projects in the emirate with its latest retail venue – Zero 6 – set to establish a new standard in Sharjah’s retail development. Founded by Sheikh Khalid Bin Sultan Al Qasimi in 2013 and headquartered in Sharjah, Alef Group holds a projected AED 4 billion worth of assets and a land bank of AED 1 billion. The company has rapidly established itself as a leading developer of premier lifestyle communities, destinations and experiences in the emirate. Through investment and strategic joint ventures, Alef Group has capitalised on Sharjah’s status as an evolving modern metropolis noted for continued growth and its unique geographical position as a connecting link between Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Commenting on Alef Group’s vision, Sheikh Khalid said: “It is our aim to provide an ‘ultimate lifestyle experience’ in Sharjah and beyond, by offering the very best to both residents and retailers alike.” Sheikh Khalid defines Alef Group’s approach as one that invokes concepts reflecting contemporary architecture and modern day experiences, while responding to the changing needs and expectations of the next generation.

Zero 6: With a mixed portfolio of world-class residential, retail, business and leisure projects, Alef Group’s latest lifestyle development – Zero 6 – is already being labelled as the “first of a new generation of lifestyle retail venues”. With a striking design that is sophisticated, contemporary and with an ambiance that is carefully created with the shopper in mind, Zero 6 is an elegantly designed setting where trendsetters will immediately feel at home. One of the key features of the Zero 6 experience is the outdoor terrace that gives access to a range of internationally recognised and locally based restaurants and cafes. This seamless outdoor seating area is set to be the heart and hub of the development. Another key feature will be a nine-screen cinema complex, where moviegoers will be able to enjoy the latest blockbuster films on the largest IMAX screen in the UAE. “We continue to carefully select our partners to create the most desirable experience for our customers and the community. In the case of Zero 6, we are aiming to do this by acquiring the likes of the best gyms, family entertainment centres, nurseries and more,” added Sheikh Khalid. Located one kilometre from Sharjah International Airport, Zero 6 is perfectly situated near high-end residential areas and will welcome a burgeoning new generation of trendsetters, the style conscious and families with children. Retail People | 11



MR. FAHAD AL OTHAIM President of Al-Othaim Group

Q: What are your thoughts on the current status of the theme park industry? A: The theme park industry is burgeoning in the MENA region. Key operators are growing their footprints in the existing & new territories whilst diversifying into new brands and concepts. At present, the industry is driven by innovation in the conceptualization of theme park and the touch-points between the customers and brand.

Q: Could you elaborate the growth potential of the theme park industry in the UAE and across the region? A: UAE being one of the best tourist destination of the world has announced the development of major theme parks to ensure regular visits by tourists and is soon to become the entertainment hub of the MENA region. The theme park industry is also expanding rapidly as many new developments are planned in coming years in GCC and

12 | Retail People

the Levant region and more space is now allocated for theme parks or entertainment. The theme park industry is evolving in terms of new concepts which are not limited to entertainment but also have a dual or multi concept theme parks based on sportstainment, edutainment, foodtainment and so on.


Q: How can the indoor theme parks sustain


their business over a period of time? What are your suggestions? A: Customer service is the key for Indoor theme parks. I strongly believe what drives business; is to create memorable experiences for the customers so they come more often at the indoor parks. This also requires good product mix and offers which provide more value to customers.








The WhY of a Shopping Mall


man at a crossroad: two malls stand at opposite directions. Will he turn right or left? And why is he spending time to get to a mall, instead of purchasing his products from his desk, most likely taking advantage of an e-promotion? Why do we choose to visit a mall?

The evolution of retail and customers has increased awareness and expectations concerning shopping experience, leading to new marketing strategies in which entertainment play a pivotal role. Our preference for one destination instead of another can be a consequence of its retail mix, its location, or its management — are there nice seating areas, clean floors, delicate air scents...? In the last few years we witnessed the rise of popular collateral services, such as proactive Information Desks with tourist information, booking systems, gift packing, chauffeurs, cloak rooms — not to mention baby rooms, personal shoppers & stylists, and free Wi-Fi of course. Today all these elements are essential, the very base of the shopping mall industry. But again, what brings a customer to visit a certain mall?

Alessandro Gaffuri General Manager Customer Engagement Loyalty Solutions (CELS) 14 | Retail People

Any excuse is good to stimulate the playful side of the visit to the mall. Stimulate spending through game mechanics of all kinds generates sharing and loyalty. In this picture a F1 Simulator Challenge in a mall.

I believe it’s a marketing strategy combined with a well-defined entertainment and branding strategy which are becoming increasingly important in accessing the customers’ choice range. I am not referring to the leisure offer implemented by largescale malls such as ski slopes, flying experiences, aquariums or mega-playgrounds. There is something else that brings adults or children, singles or entire families to one place instead of another. It’s the relationship. A winning strategy aims at creating destinations with social, cultural and entertainment activities, establishing a relationship with customers — which is this strategy’s real value.


Branded FEC with costume characters help to strengthen relationship with younger audience. It is important to create real places to visit and from which experience the brand. In this picture: a little themed house in a shopping mall inside of which visitors can enter to see where the costume character lives.

I am talking about converting shopping centers into meeting places, where social and relational interests prove to be just as strong as shopping-related interests; where emotional experiences and branding strategies are created, in order to improve brand equity in terms of the tangible and the intangible. I am talking about looking at visitors not just as consumers, but active players to involve in the game. When it comes to leisure, engagement, uniqueness and surprise are key in CRM strategies. As shopping can be done anywhere, mall developers have no choice but to create more reasons to visit them: if customers appreciate the overall experience and innovative engagement they will return again and again. A few successful examples are branded or co-branded Family Entertainment Centers. Here kids and families will meet and

Create unique and exciting events to enhance the overall experience. Always proposing different settings, helps transforming the mall into an innovative and interesting place to visit.

engage with a mall branded mascot and playground, while taking part in Meet & Greet moments, buying merchandise or even dancing their baby-dance compilation. Corporate Social Responsibility activities (such as edutainment, charity and community service and activities) and cooperative programs are also excellent strategies. In co-creation initiatives customers have fun by participating and sharing their experience with interactive technologies (e.g. contests with F1 Simulators Championship, Quiz shows, Talent shows, Live entertainment). The mission of a contemporary mall is to never fail to surprise the visitors. Festive and themed decorations, not just Ramadan and winter decor, but also concept events (Return of the Dinosaurs, Spring / Flower Festivals, Fairy Tales decorations, Fashion Shows) are great tools to accomplish this. Why choose a mall?

Imagine and manage the shopping center as the “heart of your community�. It will leave visitors with no doubt on which direction to choose at their crossroads.

WHY CELS? Alessandro Gaffuri is a retail strategy specialist with international experience across Europe and GCC. Working with shopping malls and leisure venues since 1997, his role is helping brands understand the needs of customers and interact more closely with them. Following global markets trends, retail strategy today involves the management of each touch points with visitors, thanks to multidisciplinary methods and a full range of tools – from loyalty systems to live events, from in-mall media to festive lighting. After a career as Operation Director of Cinemas and Theme Parks and a long experience as Mall Manager, Alessandro Gaffuri is now General Manager of CELS, an agency specialized in customer engagement, with offices in Dubai and Doha.

Retail People | 15



QATAR’S FIRST SUPERREGIONAL MALL, AND WHAT MAKES THIS MALL UNIQUE SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN AUGUST 2016, MALL OF QATAR PROMISES TO BRING A WHOLE NEW SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE TO QATAR. HOW WILL THE MALL DIFFER FROM DOHA’S OTHER SHOPPING CENTERS? Mall of Qatar, will be Qatar’s first superregional shopping center, the first live entertainment mall in the region and is definitely taking the notion of shopping centers to a different level in Qatar in terms of accessibility, design, circulation, and convenience. Today, when consumers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond traditional shopping. Consumers in the Middle East maintain a strong association between consumption and pleasure, driving the need for more engaging shopping experiences. Delivering new mall formats are essential to stay relevant, generate increased footfall and become the number

Naomi Sargeant Director Marketing Mall of Qatar 16 | Retail People

one destination for shoppers. Introducing new retail brands and diverse entertainment activities in a unique setting, Mall of Qatar will positively transform the entertainment and retail experience in the country. WHAT WILL BE THE MOST OUTSTANDING FEATURES AND SERVICES THAT ARE EXPECTED TO ATTRACT THOSE IN SEARCH OF A DIFFERENT ENTERTAINMENT AND SHOPPING EXPERIENCE? One of our major distinguishing architectural features will be the 30 meter high and 6,000 sq.m glass domed roof that illuminates a central arena called “The Oasis”, which will become the heart of the project. Within the Oasis proprietary shows, custom developed for Mall of Qatar with our own residency performing troupe will be performed throughout the week on a 360 degree revolving stage with aerial rigging set in a pond and surrounded by interactive dancing fountains.


The state-of-the-art Family Entertainment Centre spread over 16,500 sq. m will feature a unique edutainment city KidzMondo and Xtremeland equipped with the latest games and gaming machines, along with gripping rides that appeal to all ages everyone in addition to a 19 screen Cineplex with the world’s largest 3D laser projection IMAX theatre, 6 VIP screens, in-theatre gourmet service and bowling alleys to suit all family and friends. Food & Beverage outlets are considered to be a main leisure activity and an integral part in the success of any mall, therefore we’ve allocated more than 20% of our Gross Leasable Area (GLA) to F&B outlets making Mall of Qatar home to more than 100 casual and fine dining restaurants, including two signature restaurants. Mall of Qatar will be a hub for tourists and guests can stay at our exclusive Al Rayyan Hotel, a 5 Star Hotel operated by Curio, a collection by Hilton, which combines luxury, fashion, contemporary art, modern lifestyle and wellness. The property,

with more than 200 rooms, will include two upscale restaurants, a lobby lounge, outdoor pool, and a spa & fitness center including dedicated treatment rooms. In your opInIon, what makes mall of Qatar attractIve to those lookIng for exclusIve and unIQue shoppIng experIences? Mall of Qatar will be successful thanks to a combination of live entertainment, the merchandize mix, accessibility and convenience. It is a real destination where the well-being of the visitors is in the heart of the business development.

There are also new additions that we are getting in terms of the merchandising mix, and the mall has signed 48 brands that will open for the first time in Qatar and some also in the region. Collectively the brands within Mall of Qatar will offer shoppers an exciting collection with double height flagship stores from across the globe. Every guest to Mall of Qatar will instantly feel exhilarated with the natural light, open space and good energy that flows around the mall. We are going to be more than just a mall, we are going to be a destination for everyday experiences.

Retail People | 17

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· digital strategy · user experience platforms · digital signage and interactive tools · tracking technologies · gamification

· event management & production · festive settings (in partnership with Afkar) · 3D video mapping · sound design

It’s not simply about technologies or shows. It’s about the experience: managing the whole customer relation with both specialist expertise and a strategic view — to engage people in new, surprising ways.

This is retail marketing for us: turning each moment into an opportunity to foster loyalty and sales. Helping malls go beyond standards.

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A Whole NeW level of leisure ANd


Treasure Island activities

E Samar Akkou, CSM, CLS Leasing Manager Citymall s.a.l. 20 | Retail People

Venture Group's 'The Village' in Dbayeh

Treasure Island's Spin Zone

xperience, Lifestyle, Experiential Retailing, E-tailers rolling out physical stores - it is all becoming social! The Shopping Centres and Retail fabric are evolving to accommodate that, with more leisure and entertainment components integrated with shopping, either under one roof within a store, or within the shopping centre merchandise and tenant mix. Lebanon sets a great example where "social behavior" is a main component of shopping, dining and entertainment. Leisure and entertainment are proliferating in massive, state of the art cineplexes and family entertainment centres at shopping centres and stand-alone hospitality clusters. Beirut Souks' Cinemacity offers Lebanese cinema enthusiasts a new and enhanced movie-going experience. The $27-Million investment is co-owned by Cinemacity and Solidere. Spanning over 3 floors, Cinemacity is currently adding one additional theatre to its existing 14-screen theatres and 2,400-seats, as well as being the first to introduce laser technology projection in its Plus Laser Theatre. Visitors are welcomed outside with an incredible faรงade before entering into a striking lobby of display screens and LEDs to give an "out of this world" experience. Cinemacity also evolved the concessions concept by introducing a wide and varied offering from fresh fruits and vegetables to sushi, pizza, burgers, as well as all kinds of chocolates, popcorn and all the traditional concession items with a huge assortment and selection. With 2 VIP theatres

Venture Group's 'The Backyard Hazmieh'

offering a premium experience through leather seats, tables, gourmet dining options and drinks, Cinemacity carries its cinema-goers to a new level of luxury and comfort. Despite the high quality of cinemas' offerings, movie-going in Lebanon remains one of the most affordable forms of outings providing a full-fledged experience. In fact, Lebanon enjoys the highest quality compared to developed countries' offerings, and the industry enjoys a positive outlook with promising expansion potentials. Almost every mall in Lebanon has an entertainment destination, with the larger-format shopping centres incorporating a Family Entertainment Centre like CITYMALL's 'Treasure Island'. Covering 3,500 sqm, 'Treasure Island' is an entertainment and edutainment centre targeting the entire family with a mix of soft playground, edutainment activities (cooking, building electrical robots, 2D & 3D printing), rides, sports

Opinion area, redetection games, full-fledged birthday rooms and bowling. The mix allows for an entire family experience within one destination. With heavy safety measures and well trained staff members, parents can also leave their children while they shop or dine at the mall. 'Treasure Island' introduced bowling into the Shopping Centre scene in Lebanon with its newly opened 4-lane Bowling Arena developed according to international standards. It also introduced the concept of birthday areas and celebrations, offering hassle-free packages including the area, the catering and the return-gift. Outside Shopping Centres and inspired by their success, Rabih Saba and Marwan Ayoub of Venture Group are capitalizing on the ever-present economic principle of clustering. With a strong and reputable F&B background and building on their personal learning curves, their clusters are accommodating up to 4,500-seats all across. Offering a varied blend of restaurant and cafĂŠ options, night-life outlets, kids areas, gyms and beauty salons, these clusters are addressing weather changes and the lack of public spaces and parks. Visitors want to sit outside on terraces all year long within a nicely-landscaped environment. Similar to Shopping Centres' business model, they maintain the ownership, management and marketing of the entire space, while renting out spaces using similar rental formulas of malls with a fixed minimum, percentage of sale and common area maintenance charges. Moreover, they smartly develop the tenant mix through a

Cinema City interior digital ceiling

sharp outlook on F&B trends and strategic alliances with anchors and major groups to ensure diversified risks and offerings, much like a mall. These clusters offer tenants full-fledged infrastructure, economies of scale, continuous traffic, expansion and penetration into new markets, and above all, conceptual-set up of outdoor spaces which largely attract customers. Finally, Venture Group enjoys the flexibility of customizing and localizing each cluster to deliver to customers an "ourplace" experience. By intergrating elements of ambience, emotion, sound and visual appeal, Lebanese concepts are finding their way to offering truly entertaining environments and exceptional experiences, proving that they are able to stay ahead of all new trends and developments.


“Visual Merchandising” the way forward


he Middle East is a major target for international retailers with Dubai now equaling London and New York as one of the most popular retail cities in the world with an ever-increasing influx of international brands constantly setting up shop in the region. One of the ways that brands can increase traffic and attract interest is by offering a visual treat to the customers through their VM - “Visual Merchandising”. It plays a vital role in communicating the look, feel, personality and culture of a brand. VM offers the brand the right tools to strategically maximize the brands attractiveness to the customers and when done well, it can create awareness while simultaneously increasing brand loyalty and sales.

Anand Kumar Govindan Executive Director ABRA VM & SD International 22 | Retail People

Dolce & Gabbana Promotional Podium - Qatar Duty Free

Customers today don’t walk in to a mall to just shop, they come for an experience and brands have to be equipped to visually stimulate the customers to come inside their stores. Some of the areas where Visual merchandising can make an impact in retail spaces include: Window Displays Signage Permanent Brand Counters Promotional Podiums Point of Sale Brands literally have a few seconds to woo the customer through innovative and eyecatching displays; so here are some simple design tips to keep in mind:


Pay attention to the details:

It’s paying attention to the finer details which makes design and production for visual merchandising stand out. simPlicity:

Keeping the elements of your design simple in its layout allows the shoppers a full view of the product & merchandise. Choose quality furniture with simple, clean lines incorporating natural materials to offer tasteful display. cReate moRe sPace:

Work on design layout and displays to create a spacious feeling. Avoid clutter, the designs are supposed to highlight the product/merchandise and not overwhelm the environment. lighting:

Choosing the right lighting plays a vital role in designing for retail. While using natural lighting is best, where not practical, using enough energy efficient lighting to highlight special features or items works wonders to highlight product & visuals.

Dior Brand Counter - Mall of the Emirates


Brands can better execute visual merchandising strategies by implementing themes into their displays. Themes tell a story and create customer buy-in. They generally accompany a new product launch, season or a festival or holiday. Reinvent:

With the ever growing competition, brands constantly need to reinvent themselves, using colors, layouts, fonts, design, pictures and campaigns. Creating opportunities to communicate their presence in the market is vital for survival. consistency:

Brand consistency throughout all marketing materials is vital. It also can be referred to as your brand personality or voice. It means conveying the look, feel and completeness of your brand within all existing marketing elements. That means visual merchandising must be consistent across all platforms including in-store displays, brands website, social & traditional media.

Essie Window Display - Dubai Mall

Be ReBellious:

Don’t be like everyone else, stand out from the crowd, pay closer attention to the target market and cater to the creative desires of the customers; when a brand makes heads turn, it can ensure customer loyalty, not just in terms of sales but also through brand recognition and an emotional attachment which ultimately turns in to brand loyalty. Some of the worlds most loved brands create an aesthetic wonderland at the store front. *all brand names and designs showcased here are copyrighted and trademarked by the respective content creators, ABRA VM & SD International has been involved at various stages of development of such projects and publish these in the interest of the industry. Retail People | 23


Global ShoppinG Centre DeSiGn trenDS

S Phil Mcarthur, crX, cdP, cSM Founder and Managing Director McARTHUR+ COMPANY 24 | Retail People

hopping centre development and redevelopment worldwide has entered an age of specialization. Developers are now pushing the boundaries and executing projects that are commercially successful and deliver a greatly enhanced guest experience to the centres. Today’s shopping centre consumer has the widest choice of shopping options in the history of mankind. While many mature economies have been developing shopping centres for over 50 years, in other markets such as India, Russia, the Middle East, Malaysia and China, organised retail development is just hitting its stride. Here are the 11 trends the International Council of Shopping Centers VIVA AWARD COMMITTEE has identified worldwide: Urban renewal and revitalization In numerous urban areas of the world, mixed-use developments with sizeable retail malls are leading the way in the revitalization of cities. recreating Main Street These projects are main street in shopping scale, providing a pleasant strolling environment in an open-air high street experience. de-Malling In these redevelopments the designers are tasked with saving the retail areas that can be remolded and building new outdoor/indoor retail environments to reactivate centres.


Vertical DeVelopment Simply said, vertical developments (retail centres with over 4 levels) are a result of high land prices combined with an urban lifestyle and are very popular in Asia. reDeVelopment anD repositioning While regular upgrades in any centre are important there are situations where a centre needs to dramatically reinvent and re-brand itself to appeal to a new customer base. integration of non retail Uses Developers today are incorporating a wide variety of new uses into the shopping centre mix. Cultural centres, libraries, universities and medical centres now populate major retail projects. sUstainability Mall investors are seeing the benefit of using water conservation techniques, alternative forms of energy and a new emphasis on recycling the materials that are discarded in the retail selling process. leisUre, entertainment anD Dining The malls today are social gathering places that require more than just shopping to keep the customer happy, cinemas, family entertainment centres, spas & gymnasiums now are regular mall tenants.

eVolVing retail mix anD lUxUry lifestyles Today’s successful malls are constantly improving their retail mix with specialty retailers such as Zara, Apple and Uniqlo being the heroes of mainstream shopper. Luxury brands catering to the lifestyles of the wealthy such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry are more and more being featured in selective malls around the globe. mass transit integration With the densification of cities and the extra stress put on transit infrastructure mall developers are choosing to integrate rapid transit facilities in the heart of their projects. It only makes sense to attract the masses by convenient connectivity and a bespoke retail offer. experiential place making The mall has become more meaningful to the community than just simply a place to shop and eat. It's where one can experience an authentic setting usually inspired by unique architecture and dramatic place making.

Retail People | 25




- Our most valuable asset is our loyal and dedicated team of over 1800 employees

- Our passion for retail is evident in everything we do

- Proud partners with the world’s premier brands

- We are continually building a creative and inclusive community with a culture aspiring towards excellence and innovation

- We are a regional fashion retail leader, enriching customers’ lives with reliable services delivered honestly and without compromise

- World-class portfolio of over 60 high-end fashion, footwear and accessories brands

- Creative ideas, ambition and dynamic drive are at our core

- Our outstanding retail environment offers unique brands and a premium customer journey

- Our network encompasses over 250 stores, with operations in eight markets



NASMA Menu offering

T Nabil Gebrael, CSM Managing Partner/CFO Cascada Village

Samar Akkou, CSM, CLS Leasing Manager Citymall s.a.l.

As a historical bridge between East and West and as an excellent access point into the Middle East, Lebanon enjoys a strong franchising sector through the importing and exporting of successful franchise ideas. Franchising in Lebanon takes on namely three forms. Importing franchises into Lebanon, developing franchises within Lebanon, and exporting franchises out of Lebanon. Some wonder what is so sexy about franchising. The business model of Franchising has proved to be very successful, where Franchisors expand their concepts to new markets at minimum risk, and franchisees have the chance to benefit from a proven concept for a calculated risk. For success, local partners/experts are a must, because they understand the country dynamics and culture very well; allowing for the concept to gain the proper competitive edge, positioning, and concept sustainability. By offering franchises, the franchisors are actually generating additional income from an initial franchise fee and annual royalty (around 5%) and marketing

fees (around 2% of sales turnover). Franchising helps them grow their global network and market share and enhance their global image with little risk. Franchisees enjoy embarking on successful and established brands where they can benefit from an entire existing technical and human capital set-up and concepts with proven track record of consistent performance and strong futuristic outlook and pro-activity to the changing landscape. Lebanese love new business concepts. They import international retail and restaurant chains for Lebanon's cosmopolitan society. The existence of a big Lebanese Diaspora, and the existence of a vast travelling Lebanese community allow for brand recognition and existence of a market in Lebanon for International concepts. This entices Lebanese investors to represent international concepts through a Master Franchise for Lebanon, and sometimes other nations across the Middle East. Azadea is one strong example of that being the sole Lebanese representative/franchisee of Inditex brands across the MENA region and some Eastern European countries. A new strong entrant into the Lebanese market is LC Waikiki also through a local franchisee. The second is that of Lebanese companies being franchisees of other successful Lebanese developed concepts through one or more outlets and/or one or more geographic territories in Lebanon. This serves as a good preparatory test for expanding outside the country. The third is Lebanese companies exporting their concepts abroad through franchising, namely into Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, Erbil, Baghdad, Paris, London, and New York. Lebanon is the only

LC Waikiki Magaza Gorseli 2

Retail People | 27

Opinion country in the Middle East that actively creates and exports franchising concepts mainly in the F&B sector. This method is actually the preferred growth strategy abroad for Lebanese franchise concepts. Lebanese-born concepts like Ghia Holding’s Ahwak and Abd el Wahab have already expanded into the UAE and are now expanding into Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and London. Similarly, concepts like Leila and Classic Burger Joint have been exported into the UAE, both with the same local franchisee. Crepaway, the brainchild of Lebanese entrepreneurs and a wellestablished casual restaurant chain for more than 30 years in Lebanon, has 15 outlets in Lebanon with a few of them being franchised based on geographic areas. For example, Crepaway in Batroun and Byblos are franchised. Outside of Lebanon, they operate in Qatar through a franchisee, Crepaway focused on maintaining the same food, atmosphere, service, and experience in Beirut and Qatar! Its sister brand "NASMA", a stylish and color-oriented casual Lebanese bistro combining authentic Lebanese flavors with a modern look and feel, already has 3 outlets in Lebanon and is eyeing International expansion. According to a 2014 survey, 51% of the Lebanese franchisors are also franchisees for foreign brands and 38% of them export their own concepts in

the Middle-East and elsewhere. The number of franchisees in Lebanon has reached a total of 650 franchisee concepts. In comparison, there are around 450 franchisors. The franchise sector represents a turnover of above $1.5 Billion, representing 5-10% of Lebanon's GDP. This sector generates over 100,000 jobs, which represents 9% of the total workers in Lebanon. The franchising sector is indeed a major contributor to the Lebanese economy and we hope it continues to maintain a high level of innovation, originality, and quality.

Crepaway Interior

Mark Your Calendar RECON MENA 2016

The Region’s Dedicated Forum for Retailers, Shopping Centre Owners & Service Providers

October 30, 31 and November 1, 2016 Ritz Carlton - DIFC, Dubai, UAE Pre-Conference Workshops / Cocktail Reception 30 October 2016 Conference & Exhibition Day 1 and Day 2 31 October and 1 November 2016 Gala Dinner / Awards 1 November 2016

For more information, email: or visit


NEXT GENERATION NETWORKING RECEPTION EVENT NextGen – Cairo 19 January 2016, Radisson Blu Heliopolis

Retail People | 29


NextGen – Beirut 21 January 2016, Palais Chehab, Baabda

NextGen – Riyadh 16 February 2016, Sheraton Riyadh Hotel & Towers

30 | Retail People


Retail tRaining CiRCle


he UAE’s retail business will grow at a rate of around 7% in 2016, a total of over 190 billion Dirhams in retail sales. A key element that will achieve this growth are our Sales Teams, who can directly affect the consistent quality of service provided to our customers. Focussing entirely on organisations “People Performance” businesses to achieve future results and provide an on-going ROI. The Solutions Group work with many retail clients, across many sectors providing workable and profitable solutions for retail training. This is accomplished by developing a K.A.S.H. (Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits) based development programme to address the specific training gaps highlighted within the company. The following is a staged approach where The Solutions Group install key actions to ensure that training fits with all participants, is implemented back into the workplace and will improve sales through quality customer service and ultimately achieve the operational objectives.

ATTITUDE The overall feelings they have towards their job, customers, products, company, management, salary, working hours, holidays and incentives. SKILLS Interpersonal skills that will help them provide quality customer service; these could be Meeting and Greeting, Building Rapport, Showing Interest, Listening and Perception, Finding Needs, Product Presentation, Handling Doubts and Complaints, Discussing Value Not Price, Making the Sale. HABITS These can be seen as good or bad by the customer, their colleagues and the company, and would include, Hygiene, Grooming, Appearance, Body Language, Gestures and Time Management.

STAGE 1 Analyse the K.A.S.H (Knowledge/Attitudes/ Skills/Habits) levels of all retail teams, and then benchmark these topics in four key areas.

Brian Evans Training and Consultancy Director, The Solutions Group

KNOWLEDGE This would be a selection of knowledge areas that will help the individual succeed. Including; knowledge about Our Job, Our Customers, Our Products, Pricing and Services, Our Colleagues and Management, Our Company Procedures & Policies and Our Competition.

The UAE’s retail business will grow at a rate of around 7% in 2016, a total of over 190 billion Dirhams in retail sales. Retail People | 31



Action Plans completed during all workshops and implemented on their return. All these action plans will be measureable and time based.

Agree upon the K.A.S.H Levels that are required in each of the four areas for the future, identifying gap’s to be addressed. Firstly, how the K.A.S.H levels are currently and secondly, what are the required K.A.S.H levels for the future. The training needs will focus on the gaps, and be prioritised depending on the company’s retail sales and service objectives. Once Stages 1 & 2 are completed, The Solutions Group design a customised Retail Development Programme, which would include the next four stages.

STAGE 5 Managers will need to have the skills to follow, give support and guidance needed to maximise on what their teams have taken away from each workshop, so this stage will concentrate on the areas of Coaching and Counselling that are needed to ensure complete ROI installation.



This is the final stage of the Retail Training Circle, when we look back to ensure completion, and take any corrective measures that have been uncovered.

Once the first in-house workshop is ready, a pilot is delivered to the appropriate managers, gaining their thoughts and agreement to how and when all future training will be followed up by themselves, and any changes needed.

It is important to remember that consistent Quality of Service can only be achieved if every member of a Retail Team is given the right training at the right level at the right time. Good training will provide self-motivation, job satisfaction and is proven to increase staff retention which will directly reduce new recruitment and staff induction costs.

STAGE 4 Deliver the In-House workshops that will bridge these gaps, which will contain retail tailored role plays, Group Works, Individual Tasks and Personal

1 6

K.A.S.H Profile for TODAY


5 MONITORING Coaching and Counselling Follow up

4 DELIVERABLES In-House Workshop(s)

32 | Retail People

2 K.A.S.H Profile for the FUTURE

AUDIT The Development Circle

MANAGEMENT PRE-WORKSHOP to review content and follow up


Driving the Future oF retail experience


etail interior design and professional audiovisual (pro-AV) were, for the longest time, like oil and water: they did not mix. But innovation is increasingly earning its place in shopping centers and boutique stores. Powerwalls allow customers to digitally configure their dream cars. Animated brand logos dance on the show floor, immediately enlivening the atmosphere. Digital signage replaces handwritten sale signs and offers customers immersive ways to discover in-store specials. The applications of pro-AV as well as information communications technology (ICT) solutions are unlimited. See how two brands redefine the customer experience by tapping the two.

A New wAve of eNgAgemeNT

Richard Tan Executive Director InfoCommAsia Pte Ltd

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Reliance) teamed up with TouchMagix and designed an exhilarating walk-through experience for customers to explore 4G. At the heart of things is TouchMagix’s MotionMagix™, a gesturetracking platform used to create interactive walls and floor surfaces. A tapestry of Reliance’s brand story is told via a 3x3 gesture-controlled video wall ensconced at the entrance. The experience continues with Android touchscreens showcasing apps like Video on Demand and Streaming Audio — all of which are powered by the new high-speed network. Retail People | 33


GivinG Sound deSiGn Advice A tourist attraction, Melbourne’s Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex (Crown) offers accommodation, dining, shopping and gaming. Its bar cum nightclub underwent a major revamp and became the Crown Sports Bar, which unites sports enthusiasts. And what do sports lovers want? Action. Twenty TV monitors as well as a 200-inch screen now adorn the bar. To complement this setup, Crown also revved up its sound system. It turned to Powersoft and its K series of amplifiers, which offers management incredible control. This is a necessity as the premier-grade sound is delivered in an intimate space and, if not careful, can affect guests in adjacent rooms. When undertaking projects, interior designers now have to consider every single element. Once an overlooked aspect, sound has become a pivotal factor. Hotel rooms, lounges and the like now require the same setup as theaters and concert halls. Big-name clients like Crown will appreciate blueprints that marry stunning visual aesthetics and great in-room experience.

Get inSpired At infocomm middle eASt & AfricA 2016 How can technology, space and customer experience all come together? Get the answer at InfoComm Middle East & Africa 2016 - 6 to 8 December 2016, Dubai World Trade Centre, the region’s most definitive pro-AV and ICT show. This year, more than 200 exhibitors are slated to participate. Be there to explore solutions like portable loudspeakers, flat touchscreen displays and digital media distribution systems. 34 | Retail People

A show staple, the Summit is an educational platform with free learning sessions. Experts across various industries, from retail to education and hospitality, will dole out illuminating market insights. Learn how shopping malls, classrooms and other premises of the future are integrating pro-AV and ICT to elevate the experience. Adapt these ideas and design the next belt of world-renowned retail destinations. For more information on this event, please visit

Easily access real-time business intelligence to help match the right tenants with the right units, maximise value for owners and reduce operational costs.

RETAIL Asset and Property Management Software YARDI Voyager速 7S Smart information exchange and mobile access to real-time business intelligence engenders loyalty and helps reduce

Social. Mobile. Smart.

retail associated risk to maximise value for centre owners.

To learn more, call + 971-4-4322679 or visit

Retail People Magazine – Issue 7  
Retail People Magazine – Issue 7