Retail initiatives like Dubai Summer Surprises helped spur Paris Gallery growth says CEO of Paris Gallery Group

Sunday 14 August 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: Paris Gallery, a leading luxury goods retailer in the region, is renowned for its range of over 650 international brands across several product categories including perfumes, skincare, makeup, watches, jewelry, fashion apparel, sunglasses and accessories.

Year after year, Paris Gallery has leveraged this extensive collection of brands under its umbrella to play a pivotal role in attracting shoppers and tourists from the region and around the world to Dubai during government-driven retail initiatives such as the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) aimed at positioning Dubai as a year-round tourism destination offering unique shopping experiences.

This year too, as a Strategic Partner of the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), and organizers of DSS, Paris Gallery continues to play a major role in luring high-end shoppers to the summer extravaganza, providing them rewarding shopping experiences through innovative retail concepts, special offers and promotions combined with high quality service within an opulent shopping environment.

Paris Gallery is the eponymous flagship brand of Paris Gallery Group, with over 3 million sq. ft. of luxurious shopping space and 50 stores located in prime retail addresses spanning across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.

In an interview with the Media Centre of Dubai Tourism, Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery Group of Companies, spoke about how the relationship between Paris Gallery and DFRE has grown over the years, the special DSS 2016 offers and also the future plans for Paris Gallery.

He pointed out that during the past two decades, Paris Gallery has grown from one store to more than 50 luxury retail stores in the UAE, attributing the growth to the development of the country and Dubai in particular because of the line-up of festivals that draws a large number of tourists.

Al Fahim also said that as a leader in the niche categories, the best-selling brands across the group were niche perfumes and exclusive luxury watch brands with perfumes, sunglasses and summer skincare products being the best-selling products during the summer.

Excerpts from the interview with Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO, Paris Gallery Group of Companies

How do you evaluate Paris Gallery’s partnership with DSS in the past 19 years?

Paris Gallery has had a very fruitful relationship with DFRE and has played an active role during its activities across the years. In the past two decades, we have grown from one store to more than 50 luxury retail stores in the country. Our growth was spurred by the development of the country and Dubai in particular because of the well-planned and executed yearly festivities that brought in large groups of tourists. Throughout these festivities, we have run promotions that were unique and attractive giving customers a good incentive to purchase products that they needed and even splurge on others.

What are the best-selling brands in your outlets across the year?

Paris Gallery caters to a large multi-cultural audience with international products in the categories of perfumes, watches, cosmetics, sunglasses, accessories and leather goods. With more than 650 brands in its portfolio across these categories, we are able to serve the needs of a number of segments with very different and unique requirements. Within these brands are exclusive and niche brands that cater to select clientele. A majority of our brands are doing well. Therefore, it is not possible to point out any particular brand or brands. However, as a leader in the niche categories, our best-selling brands across the group are niche perfumes and exclusive luxury watch brands.

What is the current promotion at Paris Gallery?

This August, it is WIN GOLD WITH PARIS GALLERY. Customers get a chance to win 500 grams of gold when they buy their favourite perfume from Paris Gallery. The offer is for purchases made from participating perfume brands.

Why these premium collections?

As the leading luxury retailer, Paris Gallery has always catered to the demand for luxury goods in the country that has been strong and growing rapidly. We had envisioned the growth of the country and the needs of its residents early on, and our strategy was to offer products and services that were unrivalled. Customer demand prompted us to invite luxury brands into the country. We filled a niche by providing the opulent space for high-end brands and customers to connect.

Which of your products and brands sell best during the summer time?

Perfumes, sunglasses and summer skincare products sell best during the summer.

We know that Paris Gallery provides the best diversity in products. In your opinion, do you see a certain connection between brands/products and the nationality of the shoppers? For instance, are there certain patterns for the GCC shoppers, or the Chinese, etc?

It is obvious that artistic or niche fragrances have grown very popular in this region. They cater to the needs of a specific audience, an audience that has a need to express their individuality and personal style. Such niche fragrances become essentials to complement that need. In the Middle East, where the perfume culture is significantly strong, consumers want products that helps express their own individuality. The Chinese and Russian customers go for high-end watches and accessories.

How do you maintain Paris Gallery’s leadership in such a competitive industry?

Paris Gallery has established itself as the foremost destination for luxury goods over the years by serving its customers and learning from every transaction. We have been the reason for many international brands entering the market and gaining a strong foothold. We continue to do that by finding the right brands to cater to our clientele. We also invest in new retail stores thereby being available for customers in newly developed retail spaces. Our strength also lies in the fact that we only hire the best talent in the market. We have honed our retail skills and have been quick to implement new retail technologies and solutions to stay ahead of our competition.

Any future plans or initiatives for Paris Gallery locally and regionally?

With retail development happening in different areas of the country, opportunities continue to arise and we are quick to seize it. Every major mall in any emirate is an opportunity. Therefore, growth in the UAE is always on the cards. We've been opening new stores or refurbishing existing ones to provide the same ambience and service across all our stores in the region. Regionally, we have now registered our presence through our unique franchise model in Oman and Iraq, and will soon in Azerbaijan. We have been very deliberate and selective in responding to potential partners, and we look for those who have a similar vision for the brand. We are considering offers from countries in the Middle East and Asia.

Paris Gallery has launched a loyalty card a couple of years back, how is it performing? And did it have an impact on your overall sales?

Paris Gallery’s loyalty program, the Luxury Club, is one of the most successful loyalty programs in the region with millions of dirhams worth of reward points awarded to our loyal customers. This unique program gives members the greatest incentive to purchase from our vast collections of brands and products. The loyalty card can also be used at Watch Gallery and fashion boutiques such as ETRO, Stefanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, AIGNER and Ferrari Store. While it has positively affected our sales, we’ve been able to improve our customer service and brand offering by understanding customer preferences and determining future needs and possible trends.

Full details of DSS can be found online and through related social media channels – check back every day to ‘Own the Summer’ and enjoy everything that DSS 2016 has to offer.

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