By Andy Sambidge
Report says mood among region's retailers 'overwhelmingly positive' but more space needed
The mood among Middle East retailers and local franchisees has been "overwhelmingly positive" in 2012, according to a new report by CB Richard Ellis.
CBRE said most retailers in the region have reported increased sales turnover and the outlook for consumer demand appears to be "highly promising".
The report also said tourist numbers are also up across the region, with a particular buzz around the UAE.
CBRE's view backs up similar comments made by rating agency Fitch earlier this week in which it said Dubai's prime retail and hospitality sectors have performed well this year and are well placed for 2013.
CBRE said the major problem facing retailers in the Middle East at present was "securing sufficient trading space to accommodate the new brands being signed up by the franchisees as well as their aggressive expansion of existing brands".
"As a result, many of the major regional players are flexing their muscles to push into established shopping centres during lease renewal periods, while also targeting up-and-coming retail markets such as Oman and Qatar," CBRE added.
The report said an important issue for local franchisees will be dealing with the growing impact of the internet.
In the UAE, CBRE said much of the scope for expansion was occurring in Abu Dhabi with little new shopping centre space coming on stream in Dubai.
CBRE said the market continues to be a major focus for US retailers with several names, including Abercrombie & Fitch, rumoured to be planning entry.
The biggest US retailing group, Walmart, is also among those looking to develop a presence in the UAE market, in this case using the George sub-brand of its UK subsidiary Asda.
The report added that retailers will find yet more potential for further expansion within Saudi Arabia, with major new shopping centre schemes under construction in Riyadh and Jeddah.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I know just the place for a new mall in town, now if only I could convince the bank to lend me the money.
Well how about a thriving market with narrow streets and a creek in the middle......imitation and retro seem to be cool right now
Sounds like a brewing recession!