In the year 90 C.E, not long into the first millennium, the world’s first multi-level emporium was built – today we call it a shopping mall. In the last year of the second millennium, Al Ghurair Investment set up a Retail Division. Separated by nearly 2000 years, the events are nevertheless related. For both were designed to provide a new experience for the shoppers of the day!
What Al Ghurair and their illustrious predecessors understood was that creating a good product will only deliver a sale – but creating a good ‘experience’ will deliver a customer. Even emperors and corporations had to learn that “the customer is king”.
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, once said: “Customer Service is not a department. It’s everyone’s job. It’s not the employer who pays the wages. He only collects the money. It’s the customer who pays the wages”. Embracing that philosophy, Al Ghurair Retail set to work in 1999.
They may have been the newest Al Ghurair business division, but they were part of a parent group with four decades experience in Middle East trade. From the outset, Al Ghurair Retail’s vision was to operate a retail franchise company capable of trading across the GCC.
Today Al Ghurair Retail runs 60 franchise stores in three countries, representing world-class brands such as THEFACESHOP, Springfield and Triumph. We are constantly seeking out high performance franchise concepts to enhance the Al Ghurair portfolio and bring the best the world has to offer to customers across the Gulf.
At Al Ghurair Retail, it’s always been about the customer, but in the 1990’s that attitude had yet to be embraced .Customer Service was considered by many companies to be at best, an “add on” while others thought it a downright financial liability. That gave Al Ghurair Retail an edge. We believed from the outset that good service is good business too. Customer Service was not an option – it was a necessity; a customer’s right – and we were committed to delivering it.
The Retail Division dealt only with brands committed to the same ideal; companies who understood that product and price deals come and go, but a culture of customer service is a permanent advantage which outlasts any temporary measure to boost the bottom line.
The bottom line for Al Ghurair Retail has always been to support Dubai as an international shopping hub. Recently the city was named the world’s second most important retail destination, so it was with pride that ‘Retail’ received two major awards for Customer Service in the 18th Dubai Business Excellence Awards.
The Division won the UAE’s ‘Best Brand Overall’ for THEFACESHOP and ‘Best Retail Outlet’ for Springfield at Safeer Mall. Both were commended for “consistently maintaining good customer service standards”. These standards were born out of the vision embraced by Al Ghurair Retail in 1999.
That vision is best summed up by Al Ghurair Chairman, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, who said: “With a history of pioneering innovative businesses built upon excellence, trust and responsibility, Al Ghurair has a deep commitment to enhancing life in the communities we serve. Customer Service, in Retail and across the board, is a critical component of that approach”.