UPDATE 1-Bloomingdale’s opens first non-U.S. store in Dubai

* Bloomingdale’s opens first shop outside U.S. in Dubai

* The Macy’s unit says Jan. best month in about 18 mos
(Adds quote, details)

By Tamara Walid

DUBAI, Jan 31 (BestGrowthStock) – New York’s famed Bloomingdale’s
department store 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 announced in
September 2008.

“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-story shop when asked
how the brand would attract buyers in the downturn.

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

Dubai has been hit hard by the end of a six-year economic
boom fueled 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.

Bloomingdale’s opening coincides with the Dubai Shopping
Festival, an annual promotional campaign that draws regional
shoppers.

Gould said Bloomingdale’s had a “wonderful” fourth quarter
in the United States. “I think January is the strongest month
we have had probably in a year and a half,” he said.

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
more than 600 brands including Ferrari, Ford, Land Rover,
Harvey Nichols, Armani and Gucci.
($1=3.673 dirhams)

Stock Market Research

(Editing by David Cowell and Maureen Bavdek)

UPDATE 1-Bloomingdale’s opens first non-U.S. store in Dubai