A luxury retailer has pulled out of Deira City Centre because its affluent consumers have started shopping in more upmarket malls. Mohi Din BinHendi, the president of BinHendi Enterprises, said yesterday the group was closing down its branded two-storey wing, called BinHendi Avenue, last month. The group, which launched the retail space in 2005, operated 26 stores in the retail space, including Hugo Boss, Second Cup and Graff Jewellers.
Mr BinHendi said it would return the space to the developer, Majid Al Futtaim, and would not open any stores in its place. The slow sales at BinHendi Avenue were due to luxury shoppers moving to newer shopping malls, such as the 1.12 million square metre Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centres in the world. "With Dubai being a place with new things every year and malls improving to different heights, and therefore every mall better than the other the malls which opened earlier will have to suffer," Mr BinHendi said.
Sales across Dubai's shopping malls have fallen between 20 per cent and 25 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the year before, according to Majid al Ghurair, the president of the BurJuman shopping centre and chairman of the Dubai Shopping Malls Group. Sales stabilised in April and last month and have dropped about 10 per cent, but sales at BinHendi's stores have dropped by 30 per cent compared with the year earlier.
"It's not based on segment of luxury or high end," Mr BinHendi said. "It's the matter of the psychological kick from this financial ambience that has crippled people mentally to spend." Mr BinHendi said Deira City Centre continued to be a successful mall but the profile of the customers no longer suited the group's high-end products. BinHendi has opened 24 other stores this year, 21 of which are in Dubai Mall. "We opened our share for this year in Dubai malls," Mr BinHendi said.