Saudi retailers set for Ramadan boost

Clothing stores receive a large boost during the month of Ramadan. (Getty)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Saudi retailers set for Ramadan boost

  • Some 66 percent of Saudi shoppers make either planned or impulsive purchases during Ramadan, according to YouGov poll.
  • Around half of all respondents were looking at specific brand offerings for mobile devices, cars, computers and laptops.

LONDON: Ramadan is set to provide a lift for Saudi retailers, with a survey showing that more than a third of consumers believe the holy month is the best time to go shopping and find bargains, according to YouGov.
The data identified 66 percent of KSA respondents to be “Ramadan shoppers” — those who make either planned or impulsive purchases during the period.
Almost 50 percent were said to have specific purchases in mind.
YouGov’s data also revealed that certain sectors were more popular than others, with slightly over half — 51 percent — looking at clothing.
Elsewhere, 45 percent were targeting grocery and fresh produce bargains, and 36 percent mobile phones.
The study suggested that brands matter when it comes to big ticket Ramadan purchases. Around half of all respondents were looking at specific brand offerings for mobile devices, cars, computers and laptops.
Retailers throughout the region are coming under increasing pressure as more shoppers migrate to online while economic uncertainty hits consumer spending.
Despite the growth in online retailing over recent years, YouGov’s research shows that relatively few (16 percent) plan to shop exclusively online during Ramadan. Instead, the majority plan to spend at least some of their shopping time in stores and malls.
Many customers learn about offers online, however. Around two in five find out about promotions via social media ads (42 percent) and internet ads (40 percent), while a quarter (24 percent) hear through promotional emails or text messages from companies and brands.
Kerry McLaren, YouGov director, said: “Ramadan represents an enormous opportunity — both for retailers and customers. By understanding the mindset of the Ramadan shopper, retailers and advertisers can reach them more effectively.”


Careem looks to raise up to $200 million in China

Updated 20 November 2018
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Careem looks to raise up to $200 million in China

  • Investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is advising Dubai-based Careem, but it was not immediately clear when or if a deal would be finalized
  • Careem said in October it had secured $200 million in a new funding round from existing investors

HONG KONG: Careem, Uber’s main Middle East rival, is looking at raising between $100 million and $200 million from Chinese investors, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is advising Dubai-based Careem, but it was not immediately clear when or if a deal would be finalized, the source said, adding there was a lack of familiarity and interest among Chinese investors in Middle Eastern start-ups.
Beijing-based CICC and Careem both declined to comment.
Reuters reported on Monday that CICC and New York-based investment bank Jefferies were both advising Careem on potential investment options and capital raising, including a possible Middle East M&A deal with Uber.
Careem, which counts German car maker Daimler and China’s largest ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing among its other backers, competes head-to-head with Uber in most of the major cities in the Middle East.
Careem said in October it had secured $200 million in a new funding round from existing investors, and that it expected to raise more to finance expansion plans.
That investment, combined with previous fund raising and company growth into new markets and segments, gave Careem an estimated valuation of more than $2 billion.
Reuters reported in March that Careem was in early talks to raise as much as $500 million.