Bloomingdale’s opens first non-U.S. store in Dubai

By Tamara Walid

DUBAI, Jan 31 (BestGrowthStock) – New York’s famed Bloomingdale’s
finally opened its doors in the Middle East’s biggest mall on
Sunday in its first foray outside its home market.

The Macy’s Inc (M.N: ) unit has teamed up with the United Arab
Emirates’ Al Tayer Group which is investing 270 million dirhams
($73.5 million) in a venture first mooted over two years ago.

“We are bringing the best of America to Dubai with
Bloomingdale’s,” said Shireen el-Khatib, chief executive of Al
Tayer Insignia, the group’s luxury retail division.

Macy’s announced in September, 2008, it would open in Dubai,
the Gulf region’s tourism and trade hub, just before global
markets were sent tumbling by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“We have to create something that’s different,” Michael
Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive, told Reuters
at the inauguration of the three-storey store when asked how the
brand would attract buyers in the downturn.

“I think this is a marathon, not a 100-metre dash … it’s a
long process.”

Dubai has been hit hard by the end of a six-year economic
boom fuelled by a fast-paced real estate development.

Dubai Mall’s opening coincided with a sharp drop in retail
sales across the once-bustling emirate, as consumers tightened
their belts.

Gould said Bloomingdale’s had a “wonderful” fourth-quarter
in the United States and that January was probably the strongest
month in 18 months.

Al Tayer is a diversified group with interests in autos,
contracting, distribution, publishing, retail and services. It
operates in 12 countries across the Middle East, and represents
over 600 brands including Ferrari, Ford, Land Rover, Harvey
Nichols, Armani, and Gucci.

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(Editing by Firouz Sedarat and David Cowell)

Bloomingdale’s opens first non-U.S. store in Dubai