DUBAI: Alison Loehnis, president of the world’s leading fashion e-commerce platforms, Net-a-Porter and Mr.Porter, delivered a keynote speech at last week’s Arab Luxury World in Dubai, revealing some of the company’s plans for, and insights into, the Middle East.
To better serve the UAE’s fashionistas, Loehnis announced, the company will launch its classy same-day delivery service (first launched in London) in Dubai next year.
She also broke out some interesting facts about how men and women shop for fashion: “A woman’s going on vacation. She opens up her closet and what does she see? Nothing,” Loehnis said. “Nothing at all. So she goes shopping because she wants things and she has nothing.
“Men open their closet and they see blue shirts. So what do they go looking for when they go shopping? More blue shirts,” she continued. “Women shop for what they don’t have. Men shop for what they already own.”
She allowed this was a “sweeping generalization,” but said it was backed up by her platforms’ data.
The Middle East, she revealed, is a crucial market for both the women’s platform, Net-a-Porter, and the men’s. The Gulf market, she said, is full of early adopters who are constantly on the lookout for new styles. It’s also one of the company’s biggest markets for what it calls “EIPs” (Extremely Important People) — its most engaged and discerning customers. Globally, EIPs represent around three percent of the company’s customer base and 40 percent of its revenue. In the Middle East, 12 percent of customers are EIPs.
“Our GCC customer is slightly younger than our average customer, and spends more than twice that of our average customer,” she said, adding that the top brands for regional consumers — both male and female — include Fendi, Chloé, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Loro Piana, and Tom Ford.
GCC women, she explained, like to get dressed up. But they do so in different ways from country to country. “Emirati women love dresses, they love Oscar and Gucci. In Kuwait, they’re a little more trend-driven, and they love embellishment. In Saudi, they love glamor, and — in particular — jewelry; yellow gold and diamonds.”