The Global Retail Alliance (GRA) platform on Sunday announced its launch in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, in a move aimed at highlighting the latest global and local trends in the retail sphere. It is a consortium of businesses and institutions with stakes in the retail industry spanning the globe
At a press conference to announce the launch, Massimo Volpe, global director of GRA, said the retail sector is one of the first sectors to be effected by “any changes around the globe.” The press conference, held in Dubai, was well attended by over 15 local and international media representatives.
Speaking to media at the event, Volpe said “It is important for us to be both global and local,” he said. “A disruption anywhere in the world will change the game. This launch is the best way for us to connect with the retail community, and provide members with updates about the state of the industry, the latest consumer information, international networking opportunities and training.”
“We see 3 key global trends which will make a significant impact on the region’s retailers and shoppers in the coming period – an increase in online and e-commerce purchases, customer in-store experience and personalization,” Volpe added.
The GRA is a consortium of businesses and institutions with stakes in the retail industry spanning the globe. The alliance informs and educates its members on changes affecting retail markets, such as technological and social trends, financial systems, economic outlooks and retail marketing trends, all of which are influential in decision making for both retailers and their customers.
Speaking about the state of the retail industry in the Mena region, Elie Otaki, CEO of Global Retail Alliance in the Mena region, said there had been a slowdown in activity. “However, we expect it to pick up again next year. Retail in the UAE is still dominated by malls, but online shopping is beginning to have an impact and that is something we will be watching very closely in the future.”
“The retail sector in the Middle East is witnessing game-changing developments with major international brands still entering the market, complemented by an exciting growth of new home-grown brands that have the potential to expand internationally,” said Volpe. “With this evolution in the traditional regional franchising model, we see huge opportunities coupled with a pressing need for the retail community to stay connected and up-to-the-minute with cutting edge insights on local and international initiatives and sector trends.”
Members of the GRA are granted access to an international virtual library of research and insights which allows them to stay up-to-date with the latest news, events and initiatives dedicated to retail and marketing. In addition, GRA’s e-learning platform provides educational training tools and lectures from global experts in various disciplines such as virtual merchandising, retail design and digital retail.