Shopping Centers Today International

FEB 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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he jewels in the retail crown might seem to be sparkling brightest at the megamalls of the middle east, thanks to the busi- ness prowess of some of the savviest franchisers on the planet, who have set up shop where millions of consumers come to spend. For all concerned, it is a lucrative arrangement indeed. T gatewaY to the miDeast WHEN INTERNATIONAL RETAILERS SET UP SHOP IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THEY TURN TO JUST A HANDFUL OF FRANCHISERS By Spencer Rumsey F E b R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 / S C T 41 the scottsdale, ariz.–based P.F. chang's chinese cuisine casual-dining chain operates three of its top 10 restaurants in sales terms in the middle east. Dubai, United arab emir- ates, boasts the world's largest cheesecake Factory. those two companies owe their success in this region to the Kuwait-based m.h. alshaya co., which launched its first franchise partner- ship in 1983 with the mothercare prenatal-and-infant-care merchandise chain. now it oper- ates franchises in 19 countries through some 70 international brands — american eagle out- fitters, h&m, starbucks and Victoria's secret being only a few. soon to join that franchise portfolio is the babel restaurant chain, whose savory lebanese cuisine has won a following at its three current locations through word of mouth alone. alshaya and partner afkar holding group are bent on making the chain a major presence in the region. "all these families and companies travel all over the world, and when they see a brand that resonates with them, they do their homework," said Phil mcarthur, crX, csm, cDP, managing director of mcarthur & co., a Dubai-based shopping center consulting firm. "they find out if the company has expansion plans for their particular countries, and they start discussing what the terms and conditions would be." basically, someone building a new regional mall will approach a big group like alshaya and a few others, he says. "Five meetings could get you 200 brands," said mcarthur. "that's how it works: they want all their brands

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