Retailers and malls may get consumer information under plan

The Department of Economic Development is looking at creating an independent information platform for retailers to track the profile of consumers in malls - with video.

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The Department of Economic Development (DED) is weighing the creation of an independent platform to provide retailers and mall operators with information on consumer demographics, spending habits and trends.

It is hoped the information service will encourage the best mix of retail stores in malls, matching the profile of the consumer to the types of stores.

Laila Suhail, the chief executive of the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, part of the DED, says that ensuring retailers have transparent information about the sector will be crucial to its growth.

"[A platform] is something that's being worked on at a government, DED level," she said. "There's a very strong infrastructure when it comes to shopping malls, but there is no single platform for information for a retailer or about a particular mall."

The service is expected to be outsourced to a private data provider that will pool and independently collate information provided by malls and retailers on footfall, sales and consumer profiles, as well as conduct surveys and polls to verify the data.

"By providing a transparent and competitive context, a platform will help retailers establish strategic points of sale and optimise their store locations," said Richard Adams, a retail analyst at Verdict Research. "Ultimately it would benefit the Dubai retail sector overall and structurally the whole economy."