'The future of retail space is in the consumer's mindset'

The future of retail space is in the consumers mindset
Niranjan Gidwani, chief executive officer, Eros Group

In this digital day and age when online sales are booming on e-commerce sites and brands building their own brick-and-mortar stores, Niranjan Gidwani, chief executive officer, Eros Group, reassures that all is well for retailers in the UAE



By Niranjan Gidwani

Published: Wed 7 Aug 2019, 11:10 AM

Last updated: Wed 7 Aug 2019, 2:18 PM

The UAE retail sector has evolved in the past two decades - from high street shops into a showcase of cutting-edge retail zones in glitzy malls that now dot the UAE landscape. The industry has evolved by integrating the digital technology available to provide consumers with improved loyalty programmes, peer-based recommendations, service enhancements and refined experiences. 
Today, the retail sector is facing some challenges, both economic and geo-political, but as is typical of the UAE, the sector will rise to the challenge and continue to be one of the core drivers of the UAE economy.
In the next 24 months, we see a lot of optimism as new retail spaces open up not only in Dubai but also in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, which is just a bit over a year away, will attract a large base of tourists, bring in more residents and also provide a much-needed impetus to local consumption. Following that the nation will prepare to celebrate the UAE's Golden Jubilee, which should provide further impetus to business in the country.
Eros Digital Home deals in high-end and popular brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Hitachi, TCL, Sonos, Midea and Lenovo to name a few. Some of these brands are now strengthening their own brick-and-mortar experience zones in the UAE, but Eros Group, tapped into this opportunity over a decade ago.
Eros Digital Home, one of the pioneers of the concept of brand and retail working together in the consumer electronics industry, partnered and opened with Samsung the first Samsung Boutique at Dubai Mall in 2008. Since then, we have opened multiple brand stores for not only Samsung but also for Huawei and Midea.
We believe that there is enough space for both brand stores and retail stores to exist side by side as they cater to different customer demands and experiences. Brands are also able to, in their own stores; provide an enhanced brand experience to the customer without any competitor distractions.
To ensure that the brand factor is not lost, Eros Group continues to engage with its customers via an integrated marketing plan which includes, but is not limited to print, radio, Out of Home, digital, social media and PR. Direct marketing tools such as database marketing also helps. However, the company's majority spend is now tilting towards digital - which also has now split into traditional (Facebook and Instagram) and new (Tiktok and Snapchat).
We continue to evaluate the vast media space to see how we can better reach and continue to engage with our consumers. Our three new retail stores and also two new brand stores scheduled to open in the next six months will bring in this change and will provide the platform for future growth. We are committed to always provide a better customer experience to our consumers and keep our ethos of 'Customer Delight' alive.
Coming to the trends that will redefine the retail sector, I believe that notwithstanding the growing influence of the digital space and the growth of e-commerce, retail is slowly but surely finding the right blend to integrate itself into the new landscape and find space in the consumer mindset.
The choice of new media has provided the right impetus for the retail industry and has allowed them to not only reach but also connect with the millenials. Going forward, the industry will target this conscious customer with a more informed and nuanced communication outside and provide an improved and enriched experience in store. This synergy will be the defining moment for the industry into the next decade.


More news from
Unjabbed Djokovic is humbled Down Under

Opinion

Unjabbed Djokovic is humbled Down Under

Real champions put spectators first in the pursuit of glory. Novak, however, has emerged the Djoker of the pack by riding slipshod over the rules. He almost got away with his antics until good sense prevailed and the Australian government and legal system intervened to show him the door.

Opinion3 hours ago

India is the market for the next decade

Opinion

India is the market for the next decade

Corporate earnings appear to be on the cusp of revival. The earnings growth is expected to be more than 50 per cent between FY20 and FY22; earnings growth momentum is likely to continue at more than 25 per cent annually over the next couple of years.

Opinion3 hours ago