While most traditional retail formats in the Middle East are struggling, the outlet-centre sector has experienced ongoing support from consumers who are becoming more loyal and are continuing to buy. The trend is becoming the backbone of retail markets around the globe, but it is still in its infancy in the Middle East.
France's Carrefour is planning Near Field Communication trials so its customers can make payments using their mobile phones through the MasterCard version of the retailer's own card. Along with other large retail chains in France, Carrefour is working with French mobile operators to arrange the NFC trials.
Business Monitor International predicts that sales at supermarkets in the United Arab Emirates could grow by 80% or more by 2013. Part of the short-term growth is expected to be driven by people dining out less.
The Australian Retailers Association is urging consumers to act after the announcements of the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest-rate cut and the government's Household Stimulus Package. "Around 8.8 million Australian families and singles are expected to receive payments of up to $950 from March this year as part of the Household Stimulus Package, but to save jobs this money needs to flow through the economy," ARA Executive Director Richard Evans said.