The Gulf countries in the age of digitalization: Meeting with Patrick Chalhoub

In 2016, the Middle East was one of the most active regions on YouTube in terms of watch time, just after the United States and before Brazil. Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of the Chalhoub distribution group, has been studying the luxury market in the Gulf region for years. He reveals the changing expectations and behaviors of consumers in the Middle East. Patrick Chalhoub also talks about his partnership with the Farfetch e-commerce platform as part of the group’s digital transformation.

Interview by Claire Domergue

Is there a price gap between luxury goods sold in the Middle East and those sold in the rest of the world?

In their quest for the latest product and personalized offers, luxury consumers pay a lot of attention to the quality and the price of the products they buy. Because of their frequent trips abroad and the increasing use of the Internet, they are well informed and expect prices to be competitive. Price differences are more evident than ever, and Gulf residents are quick to search for information, check prices, talk to friends and compare information to make better decisions. They then shop where there is the best QPR. They will not pay more for a product if the quality or level of service does not justify it. In order to retain their customers, brands must therefore align their prices worldwide. By not meeting this requirement, they risk discrediting their reputation and image. Outlets that require consumers to pay a much higher price for products available elsewhere at a more reasonable price may undermine consumers’ trust in them, even though it is the key to the relationship between the consumer and a luxury brand. […]

 

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