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Kuwait 2017 | RETAIL & REAL ESTATE | COLUMN

TBY talks to Abdul Aziz N. Abu Shanab, Vice President, Wahran Trading Company, on the sector.

Abdul Aziz N. Abu Shanab

What is the full scope of your activities?

Wahran Trading started in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the years, we expanded into perfumes and cosmetics, with renowned brands like Dior, Guerlain, Cartier, Bulgari, and many more. In 2005, we started to distribute Samsung electronics in Kuwait and it is now a major business for us. We also ventured into fashion and have a Ferrari store as well as Harmont and Blaine, two of the best Italian brands for high-range male and children's fashion. We now seek to expand this line of business.

What are the trends in the local market?

Cartier Perfumes, for example, is doing extremely well here, far better than in any other GCC country. Demand is much more stable in Kuwait and all the large brands often launch fragrances in Kuwait before other countries. We usually review the businesses with our partners twice a year, and we primarily see how stable the market for high-end perfumes has become here. Guerlain has been with us since 1993 and Dior since 2001. We have had a skincare brand from France called Payot for more than 35 years now, and Burberry for more than 23 years.