MERA 2012 AWARDS – RETAILER WINNERS
by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 22 May 2012
Last week’s ‘Middle East Retail Academy (MERA): 2012 Awards’ held in conjunction with DISTREE Middle East included a series of Retailer of the Year awards covering ten countries across the region. Eight different ICT and consumer electronics (CE) retailers received awards – based on live electronic voting by vendors - reflecting the continued diversity that exists in the regional channel, with Carrefour and Lulu the only companies to emerge victorious in more than one country.
A shortlist of ‘MERA Recommended Retailers’ was announced for each country based on continuous feedback from vendors received during the last year as part of their regular input into the MERA Monthly Monitor Report (MMR). During the awards ceremony itself, vendor executives with regional channel knowledge, took part in a live electronic voting session to select an overall winner in each retailer category.
The live voting session commenced with the Retailer of the Year Award for Syria with Carrefour, DigitalNet and Home IT all making the final shortlist and gaining ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status for the next 12 months. Carrefour emerged victorious in the live vote, securing an impressive 64% of vendor support for its performance in Syria during a challenging last 12 months.
The 2012 Retailer of the Year Award for Lebanon went to Khoury Home who took a majority of the vendor vote, beating off a strong challenge by second placed Virgin and third placed Abed Tahan. All three shortlisted retailers picked up ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status for the next 12 months.
Moving to Jordan and it was in-country retail powerhouse SmartBuy that emerged victorious with 56% of the vendor vote. In addition to SmartBuy, Carrefour and PC Zone were both awarded ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status in Jordan.
In Egypt, five retail chains picked up ‘MERA Recommended Retailer Status’: Carrefour, CompuMe, Computer Shop, Mobile Shop and Radioshack. It is worth noting that the final three names on this list – Computer Shop, Mobile Shop and Radioshack – all share the same parent company in Delta Group. CompuMe secured 55% of the live electronic vote to pick up the Retailer of the Year Award for Egypt.
The first Gulf award was for Retailer of the Year in Qatar with Carrefour, Jarir Bookstore, Lulu, PC One and Virgin all picking up ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status and receiving official nominations for the live vote. Lulu picked up its first award of the night in Qatar with 42% of the vendor vote, fighting off strong challenges from Carrefour and Virgin. Three companies picked up ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status in Oman: Carrefour, Emax and Lulu. The live vote was dominated by Lulu, which picked up its second award of the night, capturing an impressive 60% share.
The next category was Retailer of the Year for Kuwait with Alghanim (X-cite), Best Denki, Carrefour, Eureka and Geant all named as ‘MERA Recommended Retailers’ for the next 12 months. Alghanim’s dominance in the Kuwaiti market was underlined by its overwhelming success in this category with the retailer securing a hugely impressive 82% share of the live vendor vote.
Sharaf DG was named Retailer of the Year for Bahrain capturing 50% of the live vote and also receiving ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status for the country. Carrefour, Emax, Geant and Lulu were also nominated in Bahrain and were awarded ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status for the next 12 months.
The penultimate retailer award was for the Saudi Arabian market with Carrefour, eXtra, Jarir Bookstore, Obeikan and HyperPanda all picking up ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status and going head-to-head in the live electronic vote. Jarir Bookstore emerged victorious with 58% of the vote but fast-growing eXtra continues to close the gap and looks set to challenge Jarir’s dominance in the years ahead.
The final Retailer of the Year Award for the UAE saw six of the country’s top retailers pick up ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status for the next 12 months, reflecting the variety and strength of the country’s ICT and consumer electronics (CE) retail channel. Carrefour, Emax, Jacky’s, Jumbo, Lulu and Sharaf DG all received official nominations in the UAE. The close fought live contest saw Carrefour retain its UAE crown and pick up its second award of the night with 32% of the vendor vote. Lulu and Sharaf DG finished joint second in the UAE vendor vote.
Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, organisers of the ‘MERA: 2012 Awards’, said: “We wish to congratulate each and every retailer that achieved ‘MERA Recommended Retailer’ status for the next 12 months. The Middle East ICT and CE channel continues to develop and mature at a rapid pace and the retailers picked out at the ‘MERA: 2012 Awards’ are all playing a key role in driving this development across the region.”
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