Namshi will give Emaar Malls ability to attract new brands and also trial new ones
The full acquisition of Namshi gives Emaar Malls an unassailable position as the number one fashion retailer in Dubai, according to its CEO.
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, who joined the listed retail giant in July last year, said that by acquiring the remaining 49 percent of Namshi, Emaar Malls could now claim to be the market leader in fashion.
“I'm very pleased because we own two number one platforms - the number one offline destination in Dubai - the Dubai Mall, which is also the number one fashion destination in retail - and the full rights to the number one online fashion and beauty [platform],” he told Arabian Business this week.
Bousquet-Chavanne said the decision to fully acquire the fashion portal was based on “full belief in the substantial potential of Namshi, mid-to-long term as a great asset in this region”.
“It was born in the region, born in Dubai and it has [achieved] terrific results in a highly competitive space,” he said.
“We believe that there are substantial synergies to be exploited fully, between the physical asset that we own (malls) and now accelerating our online presence.”
It was revealed in Emaar Malls’ recent annual results that Namshi grew 16 percent year-on-year, an impressive number in a highly competitive marketplace, where some global leaders compete alongside local operators.
“The continued differentiation of Namshi as a leader in fashion online is very important to us,” said Bousquet-Chavanne.
“We're not the only one to play in that space and there are some big companies coming from international and local companies. The team has been augmenting the number of brands. We have just passed a selection of 700 brands, including leading global names, but also some very nice in-house labels from Namshi.”
The portal has a 1.2 million customer base and Bousquet-Chavanne doesn’t see why it can’t surpass two million this year, particularly given their “unique understanding of the local customer base”, which he describes as a “big differentiator” when stacked against competitors.
“We hope so. We're definitely determined. The team is passionate and we have great talent within Namshi. Our mission is to maintain the number one position and that's going to require growth,” he said.
“In the context of the region, it's still behind the western world in terms of online penetration.
“The transformation of retail is happening. The UAE is progressing very fast to become a leading e-commerce hub. We will see more innovation happening locally, which is very healthy.”
Bousquet-Chavanne said the position as number one in fashion will give both Emaar Malls greater strength to not only attract new brands, but also trial new ones.
“This is where I think the richness of the new relationship is going to be - with online brands, we can also see very quickly how they perform online. We will be able to make better informed decisions about finding those lines, location and space within the physical world,” he said.
“All the brands today are looking about being on and offline combined and that's basically the way the world is going. It's not either/or - you have to integrate for the consumer benefit.
“We are already extracting some amazing knowledge in terms of consumer behaviour across devices or cross platforms. And for the customers, there are no channels. There are just no more behaviours in terms of shopping wherever and however they want to do that. I just want to make sure that we have the very best experience in [both] of those two channels.”