InBusiness.ae caught up with Arif Ben Khadra, Chairman, LEVANT to hear all about the group’s success a decade after its inception and the unique experience it offers to luxury clients across Dubai’s finest venues.
How do you define your commitment to luxury?
The key for winning in the luxury market over the next 10 to 15 years, says Bain & Company, is “to get ready for Luxury 2.0,” where success will be defined by a relentless focus on three luxury goods management principles: Superior customer experience, flawless retail management, and people excellence
LEVANT is exceptional at each of these principles delivering superior store location and design, offering a broad choice of products from highly desirable brands constantly curated in a superb in store presentation. Moreover, our extremely knowledgeable and empathetic staff ensures highly effective targeted marketing and tactile interaction for customers in addition to exceptional customer retention program.
How is luxury spending in the UAE at the moment?
Despite the global economic crisis and drop in oil prices, UAE consumers’ spending on luxury goods went full speed ahead in 2015.
As per a survey conducted by American Express Middle East across five GCC countries, the UAE is the number 1 luxury shopping destination in the region. Dubai was the top choice by respondents in all countries and of all age-groups, while Abu Dhabi was also popular with the older age groups (35 years old and over).
However, a little slowdown in luxury spending has been noticed in the first quarter of 2016 as consumers are cautiously spending due to the redistribution of their disposable income (focus on necessities of life and savings).
How did the industry evolve in recent years?
The branded jewellery industry has evolved just like the apparel industry over the years. It is dynamic and fast growing. National jewellery brands were leaders in their respective markets. Today, most of jewellery brands are joining the ranks of top global brands
Branded fashion jewellery is on the rise. The market share of branded jewellery is significantly growing. We can see a diversity of trading channels: mono-brand and multi-brand stores, department stores, online shops, and others.
Where is demand mainly coming from and what are buyers mostly interested in?
Growth in branded jewellery industry is mainly driven by:
- New wealthy / money consumers who like to show off their wealth
- Young consumers who buy luxury branded jewellery as mean of self-expression and fulfilment of their potential
- Emerging market consumers who envisage branded jewellery as a way of lifestyle upgrade
The branded jewellery market is witnessing a hybrid consumption for both fine and fashion branded jewellery
When was the launch of your first store in the UAE and how has business changed since then?
The first Levant store in the UAE was launched in 2006. Levant Group has conquered new heights in the Dubai luxury market over the past ten years with the introduction of exclusive multi-brand Jewellery and Couture boutiques.
Today, the Levant Group is recognized among the top luxury retail business corporations in the UAE for its extraordinary selection of high-end couture, exquisite jewellery and watches.
We know that Levant is on a mission to “lead people to the world of luxury”. How are you ensuring this across your outlets?
Through our luxury brands covering a variety of royal jewellery, watches, high-end couture and accessories, we commit ourselves to offer an ultimate quality fulfilment to the needs of everyone seeking to buy luxury.
We don’t only offer products but also a luxury shopping experience and the best customer service (aftersales) where our specialty is to “lead people to the world of luxury”.
What are your upcoming plans?
We will be adding new brands to our portfolio. Moreover, we will have new stores in upcoming prime locations in Dubai.