A growing interest in designer perfumes helped Dubai-based retailer Paris Gallery experience another record year of sales in 2012, the company said.
The family-owned business said its revenue increased 43 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, which was also a record. Net profit rose 13 percent.
The company would not reveal the value of the sales but it is estimated it turns over more than US$1 billion worth of perfume, cosmetics and luxury goods.
Perfume made up more than half of the company’s sales, while watches and jewelry accounted for 27 percent, fashion 10 percent, eyewear 6 percent and accessories 5 percent.
Half the sales were in the UAE, where the majority of the company’s stores are located, including its flagship outlet in Dubai Mall.
Saudi Arabia was also a large contributor, with 41 percent of sales, while Qatar (7 percent) and Bahrain (2 percent) made up the remainder.
Paris Gallery CEO Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim said the company had been growing each year since 2009.
It expected to open several new stores this year, including in Ras al Khaimah, Muscat and Salalah in Oman, and the first of its planned five stores in Iraq – the first time it has spread outside the Gulf.
Al Fahim said he also had signed a deal to expand into Azerbaijan, where he envisaged four to five stores, with the first in the capital, Baku.
He also has revealed to Arabian Business he is in talks to open two stores in South Africa, which would be the company’s first outside the Middle East.
Al Fahim said the luxury retail industry was growing, particularly for fragrances.
“Consumers are looking for uniqueness, are more discerning and have a good idea of what they are looking for,” he said.
Al Fahim said the increased popularity of cosmetic surgery and Botox also had caused skincare brands to invest more in treatments that slowed down the ageing process, encouraging greater growth in that market.
Men also were becoming a larger share of the company’s customer base.
“Over the recent years there is a trend with men who have become increasingly involved in looking after their skin and this trend on men’s skincare is increasing significantly,” Al Fahim said.
“This is why it’s so important for Paris Gallery as a business model to keep improving in terms of service, product range and quality as customers do a lot of research before purchase.”
There was also a significant sales growth from tourists, particularly in Dubai, which was considered the fashion city in the region, Al Fahim said.
The Middle East was one of the fastest growing regions for the beauty sector and it was expected to continue for the next decade, he said.