Marks & Spencer plans to open its first store in Egypt later this year with franchise partner Al Futtaim. just-style takes this opportunity to take a deeper look at the Egyptian retail sector with the help of research partner Euromonitor.

  • Sales through clothing and footwear specialist retailers in Egypt maintained growth in 2009, rising by 4%, to total EGP13.3bn (US$2.3bn)
  • Clothing and footwear specialist retailers performed well in 2009, with the number of outlets and sales increasing by 2% and 5% respectively. Growth was supported by the aggressive expansion plans of many multinational brands via a multitude of shopping centres established in the country's main cities. The major centres included the City Stars MegaMall, Nile Mall, Maadi Mall in Cairo, El Mircato Mall in Sharm El Sheikh, Four Seasons Mall in Alexandria and La Senzo Mall in Hurghada.
  • Retailers aim to benefit from the significant changes in Saudi lifestyles, especially among the younger generations of both sexes. These consumers increasingly adopted Western fashions, and rising demand for fashionable clothing and footwear was extremely evident among them.
  • Various international high-street fashion retailers, which are represented by leading retailers such as Alshaya, including Benetton, H&M, Guess, Evans and Esprit, became well established in the major shopping centres across the country. Several newcomers entered the category during the review period such as Zara, Mango, Scarpa footwear - a Brazilian chain as well as Nine West and Foot Culture.
  • Within fashion clothing, the main advertising tools used by leading retailers such as Guess and Zara included printed advertisements in local newspapers and the most read English magazines,Kalam el nass and Kol el nass, and street posters showing new looks in clothing and footwear on 6th of October bridge.
  • The category is highly fragmented and largely dominated by privately held single-outlet operations. The largest and best performing fascias among these in 2009 included First for Industry & Trading which is a big chain in footwear for middle-income consumers holding marginally less than 1% value share of total sales. Shamsi Group was ranked second within clothing and footwear with its brand Dallydress appealing to the whole family. AAA Textile Co was ranked third with its branded outlets Concrete being a leading company in men, women and childrenswear. The brand Concrete is known for its high quality, modern styling and premium prices.
  • Sales through clothing and footwear retailers are predicted to decline by a value CAGR of -3% from 2009 to 2014. The declining purchasing power as a result of the economic crisis is predicted to continue until mid-2010.
  • The number of outlets is likely to continue growing rapidly because of the very ambitious and rapid expansion plans of new centres around the country. Further development of the shopping centre culture and change in Egyptian lifestyles and traditions, particularly among the younger generations, will all help boost sales.

Click on the following link for more on Euromonitor's report Retailing - Egypt.