x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Well-heeled Emiratis boost London's Burlington Arcade

The UK's longest covered shopping street in London's Mayfair is now attracting more overseas customers, with a 42 per cent year-on-year increase.

The 180 metre long bespoke designed carpet at Burlington Arcade. Photo by Justin Setterfield
The 180 metre long bespoke designed carpet at Burlington Arcade. Photo by Justin Setterfield

Its core market used to be the British aristocracy.

But Burlington Arcade, the UK's longest covered shopping street, in London's Mayfair, is now attracting more overseas customers, with a 42 per cent year-on-year increase.

"Their overall tourism marketing strategy is to bring awareness to the long-haul markets - the markets which like to shop," said Jacquie Craig, the managing director of Atlas 8, who has been brought in by the centre to drum up overseas trade.

And it seems to be working so far, particularly in the case of the Middle East.

"Although the Middle East is quite a mature market coming into London we are seeing significant growth," said Ellen Lewis, a marketing director at Burlington Arcade.

"At the moment the UAE is our biggest, then Kuwait and Qatar. But I think what is interesting with the Middle East traveller in particular is that they actually have the highest average spend per transaction. [They] spend around £1,800 [Dh9,984] per transaction."

Ladurée, a French luxury baker and sweets maker, is a particular lure for the UAE market. Ciro, a jewellery store that makes imitation pieces for wealthy customers to wear while they are travelling, is also an attraction, said Ms Lewis.

"Their core market [used to be] the British aristocracy, so you have a lot of lords and ladies who shop there," said Ms Craig.

"Now they are getting a few more commercial brands in like Linley and Lulu Guinness, so still high-end and expensive, but more commercial which helps me because you do need a few commercial brands in there as well as brands that are quality but people haven't heard of them," she added.

Linley, a brand founded by Viscount David Linley, the Queen's nephew, opened a store in the arcade about a year ago at the time of the London Olympics.

It designed a carpet which runs the length of the arcade that features landmarks from areas of the world where its customers reside, including several from the UAE, such as Capital Gate and Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi and Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

Middle Eastern shoppers also feature heavily on the brand's client list.

"We are an international business and are serving clients all over the world. I would say for sure Middle Eastern clients represent an important part of our client base and will continue to do so for some time," said Jamie Edmiston, the chief executive of Linley.

 

gduncan@thenational.ae