Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We are always striving to meet their needs and aspirations and to better understand what they want and the best means of delivering goods and services to them.

Performance

We want to measure our performance through the eyes of our customers. Sales are no longer the only important indicator when we look at our performance. We look at indicators that can reassure us we are building sustainable relationships with our customers. We aim to measure our customer experience through the ‘Net Promoter’ tool and to review our ability to retain customers and increase their lifetime value with us. We do this because we know customer loyalty is our biggest asset to future-proof our organisation.

Key Stories

Aligning with the new customer experience

Customers today not only want excellent products and services, but they increasingly seek a fulfilling and personal service that is unique to them. They want storytelling. This change does not mark the end of traditional retail – it is the end of retail that has no more meaning, or no more feeling than just the availability of products. We recognise that brick and mortar retail and its habits and attitudes must transform.

Our Group plans to use technology to create a seamless customer experience. We will make use of a customer’s buying history to improve service, suggest preferred brands and remember product sizes. We understand that a hybrid retail model needs to engage with customers seamlessly in digital and physical channels, and that the way to achieve that is to relentlessly collect information that helps us understand customers’ desires and improve their experiences accordingly.

Our hybrid retailing ambitions will have repercussions for our existing network of more than 600 stores. Larger outlets are likely to expand as they focus on storytelling experiences, others will relocate closer to certain communities and some will close.

We recognise that we need to be relevant to the needs and dynamics of the modern consumer which means our current network of stores will need to adapt.

To help our brands, we have put in place a Customer Experience (CX) programme composed of different initiatives that will allow the brand to design their CX Transformation and enable the brand to be truly customer-centric.

The CX programme aims to transform us into a customer-centric Group by delivering against these three areas.

In 2019 the pilot programme will be launched in the UAE and by 2020, we aim deploy the programme in the GCC region.

The growth of our digital customer

We have taken a keen interest in how our customer’s needs have been evolving and particularly how those needs have started to change in light of the global digital transformation.

In the past five years, we have seen the growth of connected consumers in a region where mobile penetration and social media use per capita is amongst the highest in the world. Therefore, we have customers who are already influenced by social media and increasingly taking buying decisions online.

The transformation for our business is about shifting from a traditional retailer to a hybrid retailer with the customer at its heart. Making this transformation has meant re-engineering the way that we do things and making significant changes from a people and culture perspective.

We believe that we have understood this shift and have acted on it quickly. We have progressed from a team to a movement across the whole organisation with a transformative mission which we have called SHIFT. Our goal is to create great luxury experiences for our customers. To reach it, we look to make use of technology and transform our stores, services and products into experiences that transcend the traditional concepts of online and offline retail.

More than a fashion

The Middle East fashion sector has been growing rapidly. Over the past six decades, we have succeeded in building fashion brands in the region by leveraging our strong knowledge of the market, consumers, and new trends.

For us, it is essential to understand our customers who are constantly evolving. To better serve them, we must understand the channels they use to obtain information on products, the reasons they choose one brand over another, their spending behaviour, and their connection to labels in general. From ultimate luxury brands to aspirational and more affordable ones, we aim to develop brands in the region, turning them into market leaders via one touch point.

We have a team of experts continuously developing their knowledge and skills in each of the fashion categories we operate in: women, men, children, fashion accessories as well as footwear, lingerie and swimwear. This is reflected in the buying selection and forecasting as well as in the identification of the right brands whether in representation, distribution, or retail.

Based on our understanding of customers’ needs and aspirations, we have also identified gaps and opportunities allowing us to create innovative concepts, foster strong partnerships, and build successful brands. This knowledge allows us today to enter in new ventures where we perceive real opportunities aligned with consumer behaviours and evolution such as factory outlets, and retail travel.