Which omnichannel strategy for luxury sector in Saudi Arabia?
Created in 1952, the Franco-Saudi family group Al Malki represents more than 50 luxury brands (Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Chopard, Boucheron, Cartier…) in the Gulf. Faysal AlMalki, C.O.O. of the group, gave G.R.N. an exclusive interview. He explained the development of luxury products and services in Saudi Arabia and the impact of Covid-19 on retailers and customers.
Anne-Sophie Fernandes: Can you give a few figures on the retail activity of the Al Malki Group in the Gulf?
Faysal AlMalki: The family group Al Malki accompanies about 50 luxury brands in Arabia. My mother is French, my father is Saudi. So, I am Franco-Saudi, which helps a lot for the business because it allows me to have negotiations in French. It is now the 3rd generation that manages the company. In March, April and May 2020, our e-commerce (3% of the total turnover) has tripled compared to 2019. We are at 200% growth!
How are brand strategies evolving in Arabia following the covid crisis?
FA: The situation is accelerating deployment of e-commerce. Even those who did not want to deploy are now running pilots. We are in discussion with O Boticário, a Brazilian cosmetics retailer (4,000 stores). They know how to manage physical retail and are interested in Arabia. E-commerce is less risky than opening 10 shops at once. Dior Beauty was due to launch on the e-commerce market in 2022. Covid-19 has accelerated the timeline and it will now be available in 10 days. Today, if we do not include e-commerce, we are missing something, whether it is on our own or in a marketplace. Chanel Beauty was not previously represented by any online point of sale in the region. They are now partnered with Sephora and Faces (Chalhoub group).