RetailME announced a roster of the 100 most powerful retailers in the Middle East – in the first industry-wide comprehensive audit in the MENA region’s US$1 trillion retail industry, during an award ceremony on August 4, 2021 at the JW Marriott Marquis.
RetailME ICONS, the MENA region’s first-ever retail power list, realigned the industry along with the changing retail environment that has been shifting from the traditional brick-and-mortar to omnichannel retailing accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The list has been divided into four overarching categories – Legends, Pioneers and Visionaries, Disruptors, and Trailblazers.
Organised by Images RetailME, a 16-year-old retail intelligence media brand in the Middle East with 45,000+ strong print readership and over 100,000 digital reach across the MENA region, the prestigious event represents an industry that serves 411 million people across 22 countries in the MENA region.
This is the first of its kind power list announcement to have taken place in the Middle East at a gala ceremony in the presence of industry leaders aimed at celebrating, acknowledging and awarding the most influential leaders in MENA’s retail sector that are leading the digital transformation of the growing industry that generates an estimated US$1.02 trillion (Dh3.74 trillion) in sales per year.
With an estimated US$202 per capita monthly spent, the total annual retail spend by the MENA region’s 411 million people is estimated to cross US$1 trillion per annum.
Yusuffali MA, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group, says, “I feel honoured and proud to be adjudged as the top industry icon of the retail industry. As the retail sector recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and transforms itself from the brick-and-mortar model to omnichannel, it is important to recognise the heroes of this transformative journey.
The unveiling of the 100 retail icons comes at a time when the estimated retail e-commerce sales in the Middle East jumped to $55.40 billion (Dh203. 31 billion) in 2020, compared to $22.20 billion (Dh81. 7 billion) in 2015. Still, e-commerce sale represents only 2-3 per cent of the total retail sales in the MENA region – which has accelerated after the COVID-19 pandemic that forces people to stay at home and maintain social distance.
Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO, Strategic Alliance and Partnership, DTCM, says, “The success of the retail sector is amazing. The way it has been transforming itself and evolving from the COVID-19 pandemic is remarkable and calls for celebration.”
Congratulating those who made it to the list of the 100 most powerful retail icons, she said, the industry will continue to transform and retailers will have to change their business model in line with the changing retail landscape.
The Retail Legends included Yusuffali MA, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group International and the list was dominated by retail leaders from the UAE – a country where the retail sale is expected to cross US$58 billion (Dh212.86 billion) in 2021, according to Dubai Chamber.
Vishal Mahajan, Director, Dubai Outlet Mall, said, “The retail industry globally is going through a transformation at a pace unseen before. It is great to see the retail leaders of this region stepping up to be part of this change. It was indeed a pleasure to participate in this iconic event, a great platform and initiative to recognize Retailers for their contribution in facing the current day challenges.”