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Retail and consumer news from the Middle East. All the important stories, plus authoritative opinion and analysis.

The UAE's Floranow becomes the largest importer and distributor of flowers in Saudi Arabia after this latest M&A in the Mena region

Mergers bloom in Mena with deals worth $26bn

The acquisition by Floranow, an online florist based in the UAE, of Bloomax, the largest wholesale distributor of fresh-cut flowers in Saudi Arabia, is among the latest mergers in the Mena region. The deal, announced on Monday, is funded by a combination of debt and equity and makes Floranow the largest importer and distributor of […]

Buy now pay later provider Tabby

Fintech Tabby doubles debt facility

Buy now, pay later company Tabby has doubled its existing debt facility as it looks to maintain triple-digit growth recorded in recent years. The fintech is backed by Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala and secured $350 million in funding through key global credit investors. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) allows consumers to order and take […]

E-commerce shoppers in Saudi are encouraged to use local vendors

Saudi shoppers encouraged to support local e-commerce

The Saudi e-commerce industry must do more to encourage consumers to spend their riyals with local platforms, as the kingdom’s online shopping sector aims to hit SAR 347.2 billion ($92.57 billion) by 2026. Saudi shoppers are mainly choosing cross-border platforms for their online purchases, according to the latest report from Kearney and Mukatafa. They cited […]

Brands For Less denies stake sale speculation

Brands for Less denies stake sale speculation

UAE retail group Brands for Less (BFL Group) has denied reports that it plans to sell a minority stake in the business. A statement on Thursday said: “While the company, on an ongoing basis, reviews its options to further enhance growth, customer reach and customer service, there are no current plans for a sale of […]

Qatar stock exchange

eXtra says IPO is an option for consumer finance unit

Saudi retailer United Electronics Company (eXtra) is evaluating strategic options concerning its Shariah-compliant consumer finance business, including the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO). In a statement to the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul) on Tuesday, the electronics major said that decision regarding these strategic options for United Company for Financial Services (Tasheel) are still subject […]

A doorman at the London department store. The Qatar Investment Authority bought it in 2010

Harrods checks into hotels as it awaits return of Chinese shoppers

Harrods, the London department store owned by Qatar, has opened its first branded hotel project, diversifying into hospitality overseas as the retail sector faces challenges at home.  In late March it launched the Harrods Residence Suite, a two-storey luxury suite in Swire Hotels’ Beijing property the Opposite House. The retailer also has a hospitality outpost […]

Saudi’s eXtra plans IPO of consumer finance unit

Saudi retailer United Electronics Company is planning an initial public offering of its Islamic consumer finance business, Tasheel Finance, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. United Electronics, known as eXtra, has appointed HSBC to arrange the public share sale, said the sources, who declined to be named as the matter is not public. […]

Gulf beauty K-pop trend

K-beauty is not just a pretty face in Middle East

Thousands of UAE fans flocked to Expo 2022 Dubai when some of K-pop’s biggest musical acts took to the stage.  From Psy and his mega hit Gangnam Style to girlband (GI)-dle, Korean superstars proved to be some of the biggest crowd pleasers at the world fair. And it would appear that devotees do not only […]

Dubai’s Landmark Group founder Micky Jagtiani dies

Prominent Dubai-based businessman Micky Jagtiani, who founded retail giant Landmark Group, has died. “The Landmark Group today announced that its eminent Founder and Chairman, Mukesh ‘Micky’ Jagtiani, has passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family,” the company said in an emailed statement on Friday. Jagtiani, originally from India, started the business in 1973 with […]

Saudi smoking PIF

PIF-owned company aims to stub out smoking in Saudi

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has launched a company that aims to cut smoking in the kingdom by a quarter by 2032. Badael will develop, manufacture and distribute tobacco-free alternatives which will help an estimated one million people make the switch from smoking, according to a statement. The initiative has the potential to save […]

Cenomi Centers Arabian Centres Mall of Dhahran

Cenomi Centers doubles profit after asset sale

Cenomi Centers said on Tuesday that net profit more than doubled in 12 months during the first quarter of 2023 as shopping mall footfall rose to near-record levels and it sold off non-core assets.  The Saudi retail company operates 21 assets, with over 4,900 stores in 10 cities. It said profit jumped by 125 percent […]

Tesla to sell China-made electric vehicles in Canada

Tesla is listing China-made Model 3 and Model Y models for sale in Canada, the company’s website showed, confirming the electric car maker has completed its first shipments to North America from its Shanghai factory. Tesla’s website showed both rear-wheel drive Model Y vehicles and the long-range, all-wheel drive version of the Model 3 available […]

Tesla Musk

Elon Musk reverses course on Tesla advertising its cars

Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk, who has never used traditional advertising to sell cars, said on Tuesday that the automaker would try it and see whether it produced results. Musk said it was “ironic” that as CEO of Tesla, he now owns Twitter. The social media platform is highly dependent on ads and will soon […]

Turkey helps drives Alfa Romeo’s Q1 growth

Italian luxury car manufacturer Alfa Romeo said Turkey was its fastest-growing market. Turkish buyers helped new registations of Alfa Romeos across the Middle East to rise 149 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2023.  The Arab country contributed 55 percent of the total growth in the Middle East. Volumes in Turkey quadrupled […]

Polish retailer Modivo cuts costs and plans layoffs

Fashion retailer Modivo, owned by footwear and fashion brand group CCC, plans to cut costs and may lay off staff to boost profitability, its incoming CEO said on Friday, as the wider sector grapples with rising inflation and energy prices. “Improving profitability also means to work on efficiency, so we will try to rebuild this […]

An Amazon delivery truck in Poway, California. It is trying to reduce shipping costs as consumer demand weakens

Amazon offers shoppers $10 to pick up purchases is offering customers $10 to pick up a purchase rather than have it shipped to a home address, as the e-commerce giant joins other retailers in racing to slash costs for home delivery and returns amid slack consumer demand. Over the past few days Amazon has emailed an unknown number of Prime subscribers in […]

Cenomi Said retail

Saudi firms in talks to create retail powerhouse

Talks are under way for a potential merger between Saudi Arabia’s largest franchise retailer and shopping mall developer and operator. Cenomi Retail, formerly known as Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company, said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange that it is in discussions with Cenomi Centers, also known as Arabian Centres Company, to create a […]

Middle East shoppers find some ‘gaps on the shelves’

A “salad crisis” affecting British supermarkets hit headlines earlier this year, but shoppers across Europe and the Middle East seeking some basic groceries – from pasta to toothpaste – are also finding gaps on the shelves. Top industry executives, consultants and analysts told Reuters that supermarkets are struggling to predict demand as the receding experience […]

An electronics retailer. There are 54 eXtra stores across Saudi, Oman and Bahrain

Electronics retailer eXtra pulls plug on Egypt plans

United Electronics, the Saudi company behind tech retailer eXtra, has abandoned its plan to expand into Egypt as analysts predict that soaring inflation in the North African country will dampen consumer spending. The company said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange on Monday that the decision followed a feasibility review, but did not […]

Shoppers at a supermarket in Sanaa, Yemen. In the UAE, inflation in the cost of staples such as flour is slowing

Relief for online shoppers as food price inflation slows

The price of consumer staples bought online increased in 2022, but shoppers in the UAE are now beginning to see costs plateau. The most significant rise was in the price of tea, which increased by almost 26 percent year-on-year in Q1 2023, according to the UAE Ecommerce Consumer Price Index compiled by consultancy Pattern. The […]

Person, Human, Crowd

Alabbar-founded Noon cuts 10% of jobs to lower costs

E-commerce platform has cut about 10 percent of its roughly 3,400-strong workforce to boost efficiency and lower costs. The layoffs at the Dubai-based firm include roles in marketing, advertising and other departments, the company founder Mohamed Alabbar told Bloomberg. Noon has been cutting costs and reducing headcount for the past year and a half, Alabbar added. […]