Abu Dhabi: The last outlet of popular department chain Emsons will close down this month.
Curtains came down on six Emsons branches earlier this year. Their Najda Street outlet, which is the last in the line to be closed, is offering 50 per cent discount on all goods.
For over 30 years, Emsons has been the mainstay for retail and household items in Abu Dhabi. They are also the distributors of popular brands Trudeau, Sunpet, Libby and Thermos.
The Emsons Group of companies made its foray into the UAE in the early sixties. They specialised in distribution and retail of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), toys and houseware.
However it wasn’t until the eighties when they launched their first department store. The management said they have been forced to shut down because of tough conditions and competition.
“We couldn’t keep up with the economic conditions and competitive prices offered by hypermarkets,” said an Indian manager, who has been working with the group for 15 years. The Emsons management said they will focus entirely on wholesale.
Indian expat Jibin Boban, who grew up in Abu Dhabi, said he will miss Emsons.
“Back then there were just a few standalone stores and Emsons was one of them. I used to visit their stores every few days as they were the only ones who sold Uncle Milton (scientific) toys,” he recalled.
“I have fond memories of Emsons as it was a one-stop shop for household and clothes for middle class families,” said Pakistani expat Shireen Ahmed.
-The writer is an Abu Dhabi-based freelance journalist