Saudi Arabia Retail Report - Q4 2014

Business Monitor International
September 10, 2014
67 Pages - SKU: BMI5325691
Countries covered: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Retail Report - Q4 2014

BMI View: As a market with substantial untapped potential and a vibrant economy, Saudi Arabia isextremely attractive to foreign retailers. Further opportunities are likely to arise in 2015 with theannouncement that the kingdom plans to open up its stock market to international investors, giving themaccess to its USD530bn bourse. Social changes are also creating demand: in the food market, Saudiconsumers are increasingly interested in fresh food and in international brands; while women are taking agreater role in the workplace, leading to growing interest in fashion. These factors are all expected to resultin a steady rise in household spending across all retail subsectors between 2015 and 2018, with restaurants& hotel expenditure forecast to grow most strongly. Spending on furnishing & home will also risesubstantially. However, we expect the personal, insurance & other category to remain by far the largestsubsector throughout our forecast period, a reflection of a mature retail market.

With Saudi Arabian nationals increasingly exposed to Western culture through the media and tourism, thereis growing interest in organised retail. Shopping is treated as a leading leisure activity in a country in whichcinemas are forbidden, for example. Although small convenience stores (bakalas) remain important fordaily shopping since women are not allowed to drive, large shopping centres such as Jeddah's Mall ofArabia are meeting the growing demand for international brands. Women's position in the workplace is alsochanging, with King Abdullah signing a decree banning men from working in all lingerie and cosmeticsshops. This has not only created tens of thousands of jobs for women, but has also helped boost sales asfemale customers feel more comfortable being assisted by female shop workers.



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