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Malls under fire for neglecting consumer needs

Sep '06
Malls in Dubai have not been able to cater to the demands for department stores which sell a large variety of fashion brands at one place, as per the opinion of Reinhard Dopfer, Managing Director of European Fashion and Textile Export Council.

Dopfer said that malls were busy projecting their own image and neglected consumer needs which has resulted in the selection of mono-brand fashion stores in emirate.

He explained that absence of multi-brand retailers has led to the exclusion of good fashion labels, which do not have their own stores and it creates problems for buyers belonging to other countries.

He put the blame on trade agents who have tendency to restrict a fashion label to single store around the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). He also came down heavily on the mall owners as they focus on the sale of one renowned label in place of the increasing demand for bigger department store.

He said that mall owners were more concerned about their profile and not about customers. He requested the European clothes suppliers to create group with other suppliers to grow multi-brand store and develop them in the Middle East.

On the other hand, Naeem Ghafoor, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Skyline Retail Services Consultancy gave the example of Debenhams and Salam & Studio stores in Dubai malls with both selling mixed clothing brands.

Ghafoor accepted the fact that there was a need for stores like Printemps, Gallerie Lafayette, Selfridges & Co and Harrods in Dubai but pointed out the fact that they would not be able to operate unless that have access to leading international fashion brands.

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