A recent consumer survey among Egyptian males and females found that Egypt is a family-orientated consumer market, with a high demand for diverse consumer products. The survey, commissioned by Marks and Spencer, questioned more than 250 men and women in Cairo between the ages of 21-45 years old, to gain insight on their purchasing behavior. With the population growing at almost 3% per year, retailers are struggling to keep up with the fast-paced changes in consumer demand. According to this year's Global Retail Index, Egypt has one of the fastest growing markets in the Middle East, ranking 13th in terms of most attractive retail markets across the globe, compared with 2009, where it ranked 15th.
Expected to open its first store in Dandy Mall at the end of this year, Marks and Spencer's will be among the first department store retailers to enter the Egyptian market, in addition to being the UK's largest clothing retailer. Egypt has a long standing relationship with the British retail market, with many Egyptian regularly travelling to Europe and the UK in particular to buy the latest fashion items. Once open, Marks and Spencer's strong British heritage, along with their department store concept, are expected to be the driving factors behind their success. There is no doubt that Egypt's growing sophisticated consumers are looking for more options.
Marks and Spencer will offer a range of clothing lines that suit the needs of the whole family including Ladies wear, Menswear, Kids wear, Lingerie, and Home ware. With 13 stores throughout the Middle East, the company has a wealth of experience and insight necessary to address the needs of Egyptian shoppers.
The study revealed that almost 40% of consumers relied on the advice of their families when choosing a store to purchase clothing from, 15% chose the store based on a brand name, while 10% focused on discounts, promotions or the convenient location of the store. As a result, 93% of survey respondents noted that majority of shopping takes place with friends or family, 75% have visited a store in the last six months with 46% having bought clothes or garments in the last month. More than 50% of consumers surveyed spent EGP 300 or more on their last purchase.
Interestingly, despite a perception that consumer purchases tend to be impulse driven, 97% of Egyptians surveyed indicated they carefully planned their purchases. They noted that they pay special attention to the collections offered by retailers and assess the quality of these products as well as value for money. In addition to this, most Egyptian consumers highlighted they were more likely to shop at stores that were well organized and had high quality store designs that met international standards. As one of the first department stores in Egypt, Marks and Spencer will offer a structured shopping experience where consumers can easily find the items they are looking for, creating a more enjoyable overall shopping experience.
In a market where department stores remain limited and relatively unknown, Marks and Spencer has a unique opportunity to bridge a gap in the Egyptian retail industry by providing local customers with their stylish, high quality, great value clothing and unrivalled reputation for quality, value, service, innovation and trust.
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