Middle East Retail Forum 2021 to analyse post-COVID retail revolution as global publicly-listed retailers’ market value exceeds US$6.18 trillion in 14 months!


More than 200 retail industry experts from 120 participating companies including 40 speakers will discuss the roadmap for the future of retail experiences – at the 10th Middle East Retail Forum that takes place on November 24, 2021 at the Conrad Dubai Hotel in Dubai, UAE.

Dubai: The market capitalisation of the big 25 publicly-listed global retailers jumped 35 percent from US$4.58 trillion in February 2020 to US$6.18 trillion in April 2021 – due to their shift to e-commerce, according to a research report by McKinsey & Co., reflecting the seismic shift in the retail landscape that will come under the radar at the 10th Middle East Retail Forum.

The biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic have been online retailers whose market capitalization jumped a whopping 192 percent. Among the bigger players, Amazon.com saw its market cap jumping 62 percent to US$1.75 trillion at the end of April 2021, up from US$1.08 trillion in February 2020, McKinsey & Co research found.

More than 200 retail industry experts from 120 participating companies including 40 speakers will discuss challenges and opportunities brought out by the new retail revolution driven by digitization across the industry – at the 10th Middle East Retail Forum that takes place on November 24, 2021 at the Conrad Dubai Hotel in Dubai, UAE.

Held under the theme, Unveiling Tomorrow’s Retail Experience, the leading panelists will discuss the roadmap for the future of retail, exploring trends in e-commerce, malls and shopping centres, and data and emerging technologies.

Justina Eitzinger, Chief Operating Officer of Images GroupMiddle East, organiser of the Middle East Retail Forum and RetailME Awards, said, “As the world economy witnesses uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail industry is also undergoing an uneven recovery that is determined by the level of technology adoption by retailers – to offer seamless multi-channel retail experiences.

“The Middle East Retail Forum serves as an aggregator of innovators and leaders of the industry to come together and chart the masterplan for what the industry standards and trends of the future are going to be. The movers and shakers of the industry will convene under one roof to discuss the retail experiences of the future that they are bringing to the region.”

“With a CEOs Conclave, insightful panel discussions, and power-talks by some of the biggest leaders from the industry, MRF 2021 is going to be one of the most important retail thought-leadership symposiums of the year,” she said.

In many cases, the strengths enabling some companies to surpass their industry peers—tech-forward and asset-light business models propelled by the tailwinds of growing demand—became even more important during the crisis.

“In our cross-industry analysis, we found a group of companies that rode those tailwinds to such massive valuation gains that they represent their own sector; we dubbed them the Mega 25.A similar elite category emerged in the retail industry. The extreme outperformers included in our Super 25, most of which epitomize the powerful shift to digital, represent more than 90 percent of the sector’s increase in global market capitalization,” McKinsey & Co says.

The Middle East Retail Forum will examine the changing dynamics of the region’s retail landscape, with the top retailers sharing their views, opinions, and insights on the transformations they’ve witnessed and incorporated in their organizations.

Renuka Jagtiani, Chairwoman of Landmark Group;Khaled Soliman, Group CEO of Jashanmal Group;Muna Al Gurg Director of Retail atEasa Saleh Al Gurg Group;Ahmad AR BinDawood,CEO of BinDawood Holding; Toufic Kreidieh,CEO of Brands for Less;Naim Maadad, CEO of Gates Hospitality;Kishan Palija – Geekay Sports;Ahmed Ragab of Baraka Retail Group;Tapan Vaidya from PJP Investments Group (Papa Johns);Pilar de Miguel Viera – KPMG Lower Gulf;Nisreen Shocair – YOOX Net-a-Porter and Kapil Sethi – Gulf Marketing Group will engage in a lively discussion at the CEO’s Conclavethat looks at 5 Years Later: Rewriting the Rules of Retail.

SOLO (Stories, Opinions, Learning, and Outcomes) is another principal session, which will see the premiers of the biggest retail companies including Sima Ved, Chairwoman of Apparel Group, Raza Beig, CEO of Splash, Michael Chalhoub, President – Strategy, Growth, Innovation & Investment, and Tawhid Abdullah, Chairman of Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group sharing their inspirational retail journeys and stories in the format of a power talk.

The Panel DiscussiononThe New Retail Revolution, which will see the CIOs and CDOs of major retail conglomerates discussing the implementation of omnichannel retail, creating the experiences of the future, and ensuring an integrated retail delivery model where offline, online, logistics, and data, converge to enhance customer experience.

Mark Thomson, Moderator, will lead the conversation with Piyush Kumar Chowhan, Chief Information Officer of the Lulu International Group, Daniel Gomez, Chief Development Officer at Al Malki, Phillip Smith, HOD at KOJ and Sander Maertens, Adyen.

A Panel Discussion on Retail Real Estate- Building the mall of the futurewill be moderated by Phil McArthur and participated by Avijit Yadav, CEO of Tamdeen Malls; Jerome Georges-Vivien, Country Head of AZADEA; Amina Flaifel, Head of Real Estate at Alhokair Fashion and Fahad Kazim, Head of Real Estate at KPMG.

To conclude a power-packed day at MRF, the decision makers of the major retail organisations come together on a podium to a quick fire set of questions aimed at instigating debates and thought-provoking discussions, to set the scene for how retailers in MENA will approach 2022 – featuring Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Retail; Tom Harvey, GM if Spinneys;Kartik Bhatt, COO of Sharaf Retail;Simon Smith, COO of Centrepoint, Landmark GroupandTom Foley, General Manager at Al Mana Group.

Images RetailME Awards

Middle East’s best retailers will also be announced at a gala ceremony at the annual Images RetailME Awards, held alongside Middle East Retail Forum (MRF). It will recognise the achievements of retailers from the region who have had the courage to think out-of-the-box to bring innovative retail concepts and experiences equipped with emerging technologies and data that the world has access to today.

Images RetailME Awards aims to serve as a benchmark in the Middle Eastern retail industry by honouring best practices and efforts of the retail fraternity, which serves as a massive contributor to the overall economy. The categories have been carefully designed to ensure equal opportunities to all verticals across the board. Middle East Retail Forum is supported by Zebra Technologies, Adyen, Altavant, Dubai Outlet Mall, Board International, Dalma Mall, DViO Digital, Ithra Dubai, LPFlex and CION Lightings


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