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Kuwait the 9th most emerging retail market
July 5, 2013, 11:20 pm
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Kuwait: Continuing its slow climb. Kuwait (9th) rises three spots as its economy grows steadily and outlook remains favorable amid increasing consumer spending and a greater presence of international retailers.

In line with an optimistic economic outlook for 2013, the retail sector is expanding and demand for retail space is growing despite expensive real estate. The country’s largest mall, The Avenues, opened its phase-three extension in 2012, and other developments, such as the Gate Mall, are opening their doors in 2013. The country’s mostly urban and suburban population has high levels of disposable income, and Kuwaitis are drawn to luxury products and high-end concepts. The Avenues’ new extension includes a street area of high-end standalone shops to cater to this luxury demand.

Kuwait is typically the second MENA location (after the UAE) for international brands. International retailers Cheesecake Factory, Victoria’s Secret, and COS entered in 2012 with franchise agreements with Kuwaiti retailer M.H. Alshaya Co. Prada opened its second Kuwait store at The Avenues in early 2013.

While the luxury market remains bright, Kuwait is a difficult environment in sectors with slim margins. In grocery, for example, large and well-established retailers (such as Sultan Center, City Centre, and Lulu), expensive retail estate, and limited space for expansion pose obstacles for entry by foreign grocery retailers.

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