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Selected Case

published: 29 Mar 2017

Abstract:
This case illustrates the key role played by a local distributor in the luxury goods industry in the Middle East. By partnering with the Chalhoub Group, western firms have built a competitive advantage across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). While not typical of western luxury brands selling to global markets other than the Middle East, their alliances with the Chalhoub Group offer access to a vast network of 650 stores in prime locations in the GCC, many in new shopping malls. Chalhoub has retail outlets in 14 countries in the MENA region. Since its establishment in 1955, the Dubai-based Chalhoub has developed partnerships with Christian Dior, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and many others. In so doing it has laid the foundations for the creation of own-concept stores, where it sells its own branded products.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be taught in executive education and elective MBA courses in luxury management. The focus is on the marketing and distribution of personal luxury goods in the Middle East, a region that outperformed the global luxury market until the collapse of oil prices in 2014. The case examines consumer characteristics in the Middle East, the unique business model of the Chalhoub organization, which employs over 12,000 people in the region – including Saudi Arabia where women play a surprisingly big role in its workforce – and its investment in employee training to a degree rarely seen among retail distributors in the West.

Keywords:
Chalhoub, Beauty, Fashion, Ghawali, Level Kids, Katakeet, Wajooh, Level Shoes, Tanagra, Gcc, Wassim Eid, Fadi Jabbour, Tdesign


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