'Ramadan Rush' Part of Retail Calendar for Luxury brands
The Ramadan fasting month starts today and with it comes what retailers call the 'Ramadan Rush.' For most luxury brands or high-end department stores, the pre and post-Ramadan shopping frenzies have become part of their retail practices in order to accommodate their Middle Eastern clients. The incredibly affluent clientele hailing from the Gulf area (think Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, which are the four top spending nationalities in the UK) come annually to London around Ramadan to bask in luxury and show off their financial power. It's all about status.
Due to these timed arrivals, premium department stores across the city prepare their premises and staff to best serve their biggest spenders. There are cultural differences which are to be taken very seriously and the staff must be specially trained in order to understand Middle Eastern ways and manners. Ramadan follows the muslim lunar calendar and ends with Eid al-Fitr, a celebration particularly propitious to big spending in the capital.
Many Gulf countries were once British protectorates and the ties to the British Isles are still very strong. The English language is not a barrier and as investments in the capital are made easy to foreign financiers, the choice of London as the epicentre of flamboyant cash-burning and 'Wolf of Wall Street' lifestyle seems like an obvious one.
Recent figures reveal that Qatari shoppers spend an average of £1,432 per shopping transaction, the top amount among Middle Eastern visitors. With London in full economic recovery and still the number one destination for Gulf citizens in search of thrilling experiences, expect plenty of engine revving and brief glimpses of Porsche 918 Spyders and Lamborghini Aventadors racing through the streets of Mayfair.