”SHOPPING IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS A MATTER OF ENTERTAINMENT RATHER THAN JUST BUYING”
The Dubai-based Chalhoub operates and grows the retail businesses of international retailers in the Middle East. Specialising in high-end fashion and beauty brands, it does not publish turnover and proﬁ tability. Global Retail News met Patrick Chalhoub, the CEO of the eponymous group.
Global Retail News: Can you explain Chalhoub’s retail business?
Patrick Chalhoub: My parents created the family fi rm of Chalhoub in 1955, based in Damas, Syria. We imported French luxury brands such as Christofl e tableware for the new upper class. Chalhoub runs 600 shops covering up to 10,000 sq.m. GLA in 14 Middle Eastern countries with annual sales up by 20 % in 2013. It is active in three re-tail sectors: beauty (47 % of our turnover), fashion and accessories (40%) and home equipment (5%).
What international retailers do you part-ner with?
PC: Let’s consider Sephora and L’Occitane in the beauty sector, and Carolina Herrera, Dior, Chanel and Lacoste in the fashion sec-tor. We have been the franchisor of the U.S. department stores Saks 5th Avenue since 2004. We distribute Kartell and Christofle (home equipment). We also created our own store brands: Ogo (beauty), Tanagra (home / decoration) and Katakeet (children’s cloth-ing).
When did Chalhoub start expansion in the Gulf?
PC: We started operations in Saudi Arabia and in