Middle Eastern Vs. Western Markets – Pricing & Assortment
- Despite its association with premium goods, the Middle East offers competitive pricing for specific product categories, such as men’s leather goods in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and women’s footwear in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Luxury outerwear in the UAE presents an opportunity for retailers to increase profit margins.
- Expanding mass market options can help Western retailers engage the UAE and KSA’s young population with affordable products. There are 24% and 12% fewer options on Middle Eastern sites for womenswear and menswear, respectively, vs. the West.
- Across luxury and mass assortments, ranges aren’t as diverse in the Middle East, with retailers prioritizing tops, bottoms and accessories, highlighting room for western retailers to allocate more dress, outerwear, all-in-ones and footwear options to UAE and KSA sites.
The US and the UK command the highest average price points across leather goods combined for men’s luxury. Though on a category level, steeper prices for small accessories can be found in the (KSA) driven upwards by leather pouches, wallets and utility belts at Gucci. This region also boasts the most expensive footwear styles, with average price points tied with the UK.
|Total Regional Average||$694.63||$710.16||$695.16||$737.02|
Differing from accessories, on average, luxury men’s apparel is almost 6% and 9% more expensive in the UAE than in the US and UK, respectively. The most expensive products online in this region are outerwear at Fendi, retailing upwards of $53,000. Products are priced more competitively in KSA across each major category, averaging between 3%-5% cheaper than in Western markets.
|Total Regional Average||$775.68||$699.32||$715.29||$732.58|
There is a greater selection of options for men’s luxury in Western markets vs. the Middle East, with 23% more online products currently available. UAE assortments are geared towards footwear, at 20.09% of products in stock vs. KSA and Western markets, where this category is less than 17% of the total range. Accessories also make up a more significant proportion of luxury ranges in the Middle East – over 20%.
For women’s leather goods, Middle Eastern regions command higher prices on average than Western markets. Products from the UAE and KSA are typically priced 1%-14% higher than those from the US and UK. Among the main categories, the UAE boasts the highest prices, except for small accessories where, as with menswear, KSA reigns supreme. There is variation among gendered products, with women’s footwear being the most affordable in KSA.
|Total Regional Average||$1,096.16||$1013.18||$958.15||$1,002.27|
Across all markets, the most elevated price points for women’s luxury goods were found at Western retailers. However, from a category level, tops and outerwear are more expensive in the UAE, with higher-than-average prices noted for topcoats, aviator jackets, hoodies and sweatshirts.
|Total Regional Average||$837.24||$805.61||$845.89||$856.59|
As in menswear, there are 23% fewer options for womenswear at Middle East retailers than there at Western ones, and luxury ranges are weighted more toward accessories. While this is also the most invested in category in the US and UK, accessories are more evenly distributed with apparel across Western sites. The KSA follows Western markets with a similar investment in bottoms products, while UAE ranges have more options in dresses.
Similar to the luxury sector, the highest category-wide averages are found in the US. However, averaging $74.42, the KSA offers the most expensive footwear for men, fueled by steep price thresholds for leather boots and dress shoes at Mango. Meanwhile, prices are higher in the UAE vs. Western retailers in bags due to shoulder bags and luggage.
|Total Regional Average||$51.55||$57.13||$46.77||$59.57|
In apparel, KSA has the highest average price point across every category. Bottoms are more expensive in the UAE than in Western retailers, noting a 12% and 48% price hike for sweatpants vs. the US and UK, respectively and a 19% and 35% uptick in leggings. For mass market jeans, the UAE and US average at $44, while KSA is higher at $48 and the UK is more competitive at $33.
|Total Regional Average||$55.65||$65.52||$47.79||$58.17|
Western retailers have 12% more options in mass market menswear, with less product diversity in Middle East assortments as tops equal over 40% of categories. There is also less focus on footwear at mass market retailers in the Middle East, while Western retailers dedicate over 7% of their ranges to this category.
Mass market women’s footwear and accessories are more affordable in the Middle East compared to the US. However, sneakers in KSA are more expensive than in the US, averaging $53.05 vs. $52.55, which is on par with UAE. Prices in the Middle Eastern market outpace the UK by around 9%.
|Total Regional Average||$42.83||$42.96||$39.12||$49.38|
In mass apparel, comparable prices are noted between the US and the Middle East across bottoms. The UK is the most premium region for dresses, though average prices are higher in the Middle East in slip and shift styles.
|Total Regional Average||$47.56||$47.55||$43.11||$52.28|
The mass market womenswear offering across the US and UK is more robust than in the Middle East, with 24% more options. Tops and bottoms are more than half of UAE and KSA ranges, while these are less than 50% in the West, allowing more product diversification.
Average prices of products in stock on Jan 21, 2023
All prices in USD
Conversion rate as of Jan 21, 2023
Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, FARFETCH, Fendi, Gucci, Mr Porter, Mytheresa
Mass Market Retailers
Bershka, H&M, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Pull & Bear, Romwe, Zara