Everyone who works in retail has heard that shopping malls are the domimant shopping force in the UAE.
What about e-Commerece? Pffft! Not here.
Well, if this past Black Friday was any indicator, things may be changing. While prelimiary figures are still not available for the past weekend, anecdotal evidence suggests that defenders of brick and mortar stores may have to eat a little crow with their turkey this year. Malls, due largely to their communal nature, still did a brisk business this past weekend due to the emirate-wide Super Sale, but Black (and White!) Friday sales online were also booming, so much so that several retailers had to delay some deliveries due to a surge in demand. It ain’t over yet, either. Today is Cyber Monday, which means more online deals. It’s just time to face facts. E-Commerce, thanks largely to Souq.com and a few others, has arrived in the Middle East. The new question is: What will physical retailers do to adapt? Ed will be talking to retailers at the Middle East Retail Forum, which starts today.
Shopping isn’t the only news this week. We’re also looking ahead to the Opec meeting, where the group is expected to extend cuts for another six months to help keep oil surpluses in check. Will it work or will shale oil spoil the recovery once again?