The Ever before Changing Market Place Of Oman Marketing Essay

Oman Retail Industry is seen as a a solid consumer demand, strong economic growth, distinct demographic factors and high end technology system that ensure the better customer support and useful customer bank checks. The sultanate is one of the growing countries that has succeeded in obtaining, within a short span of time, a high level of monetary growth. From the total GDP 57. 1% is from the service industry. As in virtually any other country Retail Sector in Oman is having both the sectors organized and unorganized retail sector. The newspaper is targeted on the prepared retail sector of Oman. Even in the arranged sector, there's a stiff competition amidst large number of hypermarkets, convenience stores, warehouses and gas-station chain stores. Everyday new entrants are coming in the business with their new competitive strategies and niche categories. Oman has good sorted out retail markets in GCC. Oman's Per Capita retailing space is highest in GCC.

Major development happenings in the region of retail space in Oman are hypermarkets and department stores. Oman is witnessing an exponential development in the space occupied by structured retailers. The paper presents a comprehensive view of the prepared retail industry across Muscat.

Keywords : Retail Industry, Hypermarkets, Competition, Growing Countries


Oman is the next major country in GCC after Saudi Arabia with total land area of 212, 960 square kilometers and over 80% of its current populace of 3 million is Omani nationals. Oman is a middle income economy in the centre East with notable oil and gas resources, a substantial trade surplus and low inflation.

Oman Economic development has seen three phases. A period of rapid expansion then monetary retrenchment and rationalization because of petrol prices collapse and the previous phase an interval of standardized expansion since 1990. Monetary growth and structural change have proceeded quickly in Oman through the rule of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Ibn Said. When HM Sultan Qabus Ibn Said assumed electric power in 1970's, he immediately carried out an economical development and modernization programs. Goal was presented with to broadening the countries nonexistent infrastructure. Economic Expansion was associated with increase in contribution of the service sector from 18% in 1970 to 57% today. The GDP Average gross annual Growth exceeded the world as well as middle east progress rate by 3%( 6% in 1991- 2000 in Oman 3% in the centre east and Africa and world) Retailing includes the sales of goods/ merchandise for personal or household intake either from a fixed location such as a office store or from a set location and related subordinated services. In business, a retailer will buy goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or importers, either straight or through a wholesaler, and then markets individual items or small volumes to the general public or person customers, usually in a shop, also called store. Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Marketers see retailing within their overall distribution strategy.

Retailing is not simply investing necessities, it is now more of a lifestyle staement, one whose groundwork is dependant on choice, convenience and brand value. Shopping is buying things, sometimes as a recreational activity. Retailing is world's most significant private industry. It is estimated to get US $ 6. 6 Trillion sales annually.

Retail retailers can be split into categories in line with the amount of square feet of floor space, the level of services offered and width and depth of product offering. Used stores may have different labels in several countries and meanings based on providing area could also fluctuate. Clarence Saunders, invented Keydoozle in 1930's in which shoppers stuck secrets in glass screen case to choose specific products which were taken via conveyer to check out lines. This perhaps was the foundation for today's Supermarkets and Hypermarkets. A variety of terms are used to large stores Hypermarkets, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, superstores, shopping malls and shopping centres etc. France, Belgium, Spain & Colombia are the countries where supermarket industry is perfectly developed. Retailing is a two way block. There can be found potential advantages and disadvantages to the retailing project. A retailer has following things to offer consumers

1. One price Insurance policy : No Place for Negotiations

2. Selection of goods at a lower price

3. One Stop shopping

4. Large Assortments

5. Centalization of the nonselling functions

6. Amenities (Beauty Parlour, Free Decorations, Nursery)

7. Overall way the goods can be found in store setting up, including store site, parking facilitiies, instore environment and customer services.

8. More Personal Services than discounts

Retailing and Oman

Till later 70s and 80s the united states was having unorganized retail market. Usually the retail business was run by small souks. The original Arabic market is named the souk and these are still within many of the cities throughout Oman. A lot more than 90% of retailers function in under 500 Sq foot of area. A lot of the items were bought by the preference of the souk owner and costing was done on adhoc basis or on discovering the face of the customer. Prices were largely manipulated by manufacturer. Regular Juma Bazaars were very popular and almost all commodities were sold there including livestock. Juma bazaars remain an important regular bazaar in Oman however now the main appeal now is second hand goods. Bargaining was common. Shop to customer proportion was low. Most of the buying by mass human population was need oriented. Impulsive buying or consumption was limited to food or fruit and vegetables etc. Household items as well as traditional handcrafts are on sales in the souks. In some souks like Nizwa and Sinaw livestock are auctioned and bartered. Beside its apparent economic goal, the souk is definitely the fulcrum of public interaction.

Some of quite Traditional Souks of Oman are Muttrah Souq

Muttrah Souq is the oldest market in the Capital Area and is located behind the

Corniche of Muttrah, rumbling over a big area. Coming into the Souq. A cornucopia of exotic tones, smells and flavours assail in the senses in bewildering yet fascinating chaos. The Souq of Muttrah is a maze of pathways leading in and out of each other. The main thing while shopping in a souq is bargaining.

Nizwa Souq

This traditional souq hosts a energetic cattle market early each Friday morning hours where cows, goats and sheep are auctioned. The obstinate behavior of the pets often provides great enjoyment for the spectators. There can be an plethora of local handicrafts and produce in the new covered souq. Silversmiths is seen hammering patterns into the hilts of Khanjars and women sell the burqa "a glittering, embroidered facemask worn by local gals.

Sinaw Souq

It has similar ware to Nizwa souq, including a cattle market. Some of the silver retailers sell the old silver precious metal Bedouin jewellery,

Ibra Souq

This one is exclusive: it is available to all, so long as you are female! It really is a fairly recent innovation, exposed in 1990 and it is held on Thursday mornings. It's the only souq in Oman which lends itself totally to the needs of women. Lotions, makeup products, powders, textiles, perfumes and henna are among some of the things on discount sales.

Retailing in Oman: The New Dimension

Omani capital's mallspace is changing. Some of the indications that the retailing has emerge from age are fashionable store facades, daring shows an everchanging amounts of international brands, commitment cards, cineplexes, foodcourts kids area in malls etc. The shopping center and shopping centres in Oman not match Dubai in proportions and style but have their own character and ambience. Dubai depends after a floating human population of tourists, but Oman caters mainly individuals, residents and a small number of visitors. The Omani Capital Muscat has come a long way from the easy old souk to the ultramodern hypermarkets. The concept of the friendly neighborhood store, by all indications, appears to be on its way to becoming record.

It is the malls using their better atmosphere, wider choice, better facilities and the convenience of having all that you need under one roof covering that are attracting increasingly more customers. Retailers, knowing the actual have been quick to set both growth and re-branding plans in action. For vendors in Oman, the highlight has been on acceleration. We are able to observe it if only we have a look at the number of department stores and hypermarkets in the sultanate to see how quickly expansion has taken place. The administrative centre has amount of stores and hypermarkets. Customers are motivated toward the hypermarket anticipated to several alliance outlets and international brands. Customers nowadays want a total shopping experience under one roof. The switch to hypermarkets as a natural progression over the retail evolution way. Customer perceives that as compared to small souks, hypermarkets, offer better variety at lower prices and the grade of products is assured as well. Customers in Oman are more knowledgeable aware and demand choice. Choice, it would seem, translates into convenience. Customers are the key beneficiaries in this switch from small retailers to large hypermarkets. The move from micro to macro also owes itself to the strength of the economy. While using Omani market growing at an extremely rapid pace, you can find great interest among retail sector buyers in your community.

One of the reason why for the growing interest of Omani nationals is the increased income and spending electric power. The sultanate has seen in the past, a rapid upsurge in the income anticipated to omanisation. Omanisation has generated many job opportunities for the nationals who in turn have increased the spending vitality of the nationals which is driving them more and more towards the shopping malls. Oman is witnessing a retail sector increase in the past six years with a number of big-format hypermarkets slated to open up and expand their retail chains in the country including the big labels such as Carrefour, Sultan Middle and Spinney's. Additionally, Muscat has total part of 190, 000 sq. meters in major malls in the administrative centre area the majority of which was built in the 90's. Which means that the Omani per capita area for these stores. Retail sector is making headway with volume of hypermarkets opening up in Muscat the international direct investment is maximum in the business, general and retail trade displayed 20. 75% services.

The development in retail sector consequently has increased the degrees of self awareness in the retail sector It is forcing the hypermarkets to constantly keep an eye on the market where they operate. The market carries a major price very sensitive customer segment also. Backward integration, to help expand streamline operations, is another way that certain vendors in Oman are favoring. They are really launching its private label across its outlets as a solution to counter escalating prices. The other major strategy employed by these hypermarkets is of collaboration. For Example the car small in just a shopping mall it is this basis, in novelty as well as practicality that guarantees to improve existing levels of customer convenience. Another strategy of Just Ask program, where worldwide products are straight makes their way to the homes of

consumers in Oman. The merchants understand that success is not only about being fit. Effort has to be combined with smart ideas that foresee the future. Taking into consideration the competition, many people are improving their operations if indeed they don't, they'll lose their market position and show. Efficiency is not really a relative parameter. It's important that first-time customers should become long lasting customers and stay like that. Considering the competition, it is no surprise that all the players in the retail market are increasing the stakes. Competition is healthy, which is needed to enhance the services and businesses of the hypermarkets.

With more tournaments the hypermarkets will come out with ground breaking ideas to improve upon their quality and services. With this the customer is gaining and slowly the marketplace is moving towards customer's market. The market segments are trying to differentiate themselves on the basis of factors like customer orientation, Range of retail outlets, good deal, wide range, competent management, more space etc. The client wants prime on good price, convenience and good customer service. Some of the major hypermarkets in Oman are as follows

Sabco Commercial Centre, Qurum

Sabco Commercial Centre, Qurum, is one of the first shopping malls to open in Oman in 1985. The two-level centre has multiple shops and a normal souk. The souk has 27 walk-in outlets that sell metallic jewellery, handicrafts and clothes. The store targeted the rich market segment. As more and more oil areas were learned in Oman, the store prospered. The store helped bring Godiva-a specialist premium and Belgian chocolate to Oman.

Sultan Centre

Sultan centre made several efforts to the development of the retail trade. It served not prosperous but top income segment. A favorite getting together with place and great find for the latest in Euro and International fashion and accessories.

Lulu Hypermarket

The idea of hypermarket shopping has plainly found on with shopper areas over the region. Emke Group known changing market movements and responded to them immediately, offering its customers bigger and better designed shopping surroundings by means of LULU shopping malls and hypermarkets. The group, has major hobbies in wholesale and retail distribution of food and non-foodstuff, manufacturing, export-import, iced and processed food industry and IT has operation bases in every major towns of the center East, Asia and Africa. As part of their group's plan they have laid special focus on recruiting Omani nationals.

They acknowledged the significance of training the local youth and have been doing on-the job training for these national recruits. Noted specialists in retail training were hired to develop and implement staff training. The group thought the pulse and strategically designed store facilities and brought in the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology The extensive network of branch office buildings and sourcing centers was a huge benefit in providing quality products at the most affordable prices. (Times of Oman). 'Khimji's Mart Supermarkets KR Group's Retailing Division manages the popular Khimji's Mart supermarkets and a chain of Welfare Marketplaces for the Royal Oman Law enforcement. With 4 strategically located shops in the administrative centre area and two large supermarkets in the inside, Khimji's Mart LLC is an integral player in its category in Oman. Totally owned and controlled by the Khimji Ramdas Group, Khimji's Mart caters to a variety of customers of diverse nationalities and varied shopping preferences giving them infinite options to choose the best international and local brands in the food commodities, lifestyle and consumer non-durables sections. Khimji's Mart outlet stores took the business lead in training young Omani nationals and integrating them into key positions. They can be found at Ruwi TRADITIONAL, Darsait, Wadi Kabir, Al Khuwair, Nizwa & Sur.

Markaz Al Bahja

Markaz Al Bahja RETAIL CENTER was developed to provide Oman a shopping center of truly International standards, in order to provide people an alternative solution to Dubai as a shopping destination. The 350, 000 sqft Markaz Al Bahja mall, located not very far from MCC, was exposed in middle 2002. The three-level shopping center, easily accessible from the administrative centre as well as its growing suburbs, is another popular shopping vacation spot. The mall also offers a big car parking facility, which can hold 1200 vehicles. Three floor surfaces of shopping which is a dream become a reality for some Omanis. Markaz Al Bahja has generated itself as the top retail center in the Sultanate of Oman.

Al Harthy sophisticated Location : Qurm

Easily recognizable by its unique design which features a star packed dome, the Al Harthy Complex has spacious floor surfaces of shopping with over 100 retail retailers. From textiles, antiques, perfumes, children's toys and games and game titles, fashion and cosmetics, computer accessories, and watches to books, greeting cards and blossoms, everything is available at the complex. Which has a video and enjoyment arcade, the laser game Q-zar and Sindbad's play city, the complex is a hot favorite with children. For lunch time or a treat you can step into Kargeen RESTAURANT, or stop by for a bite at Burger King.

Muscat City Centre (MCC)

Carrefour opened up its first supermarket in Annecy, Haute- Savoie, France, in 1960. The beginning of Majid Al Futtaim Investment's (MAFI) Muscat City Centre (MCC) in 2001, ushered a fresh era for Oman's retail sector. The MCC, covering a complete GLA of 540, 000 sq. feet. and 1, 500 auto parking spaces, remarks a each week footfall of 155, 000. Its main anchors include Carrefour and Magic Entire world. This year, the MCC is poised for a further extension, which is expected to add another 300, 000sqft of retail space to its existing durability. MAFI is planning to open up a Carrefour wall socket in the Qurum portion of Muscat later this year. Major STORES of Oman, Sponsors, Variety of outlets and 12 months of start With so much of competition and options available to the clients, all the hypermarkets are planning in conditions of the commitment programs to keep customers with them.

Some of the devotion programs like privilege credit cards, vouchers, discount rates. But what loyalty program is to be used at a particular place is the matter of great ingenuity. The key materials for any successful retailer: brand experience, convenience, customer support, interpersonal responsibility, today's true differentiators. l Earning items toward rewards or free or discounted merchandise.

Using third-party partner currencies, such as air travel miles for retail purchases.

Offering rebates or discounts for using a store-branded credit card.

Providing information that is pertinent, valuable and exclusive.

Allowing member's usage of products, services and experience in any other case unavailable to the general public.

Recognizing best customers with "elite status. "

Inviting customer participation in opportunities such as beta screening, first usage of new products, taking part in an "advisory mother board, " creating and submitting advertising ideas, even inviting best customers to celebrations and special occasions.

Challenges confronted by the Sellers in Oman

Price battle: Competition can result in the price wars l Discount is expected by the gulf customer in case of bulk purchase. l Deal is one of the essential aspect which pulls the clients towards the malls in support of two promotions per annum are allowed that happen to be too less to maintain the client for 12 months l Increasingly more companies with international brands and composition are coming in the competition l Once after a time, vendors knew all their customers privately. They knew their personal preferences and that which was going on in their lives.

With this knowledge, merchants could actually react quickly and market to each customer individually. Along the way of growing chains and building malls and promoting self-service, many stores lost touch with the customers. l E-commerce is again arriving as a new task to the hypermarkets. l Less size of the population is another challenge in front of the retail sector as with more competition and less quantity of customers the marketplace is moving increasingly more towards becoming the buyer-favored market. l Dubai again is a hazard to the retail sector with its competitive prices and easy approachability. l Travel and leisure is growing however the expansion is not fast enough to catch with the travel and leisure in UAE.


More initiative from the government in the form of more commercial activities.

Connecting tourism with shopping: need to boost tourism to snare the enormous

potential present in this sector, which will improve the retail sector further.

Duties on certain items should be reduced to encourage the retailers

Discouraging customers to buy from Dubai by creating an awareness program

those items are much cheaper here than in Duabi

International Service requirements should be provided by the hypermarkets

Since the start of the 1970s, with Kilter's pioneering work, this issue of atmospherics results on consumer tendencies has gained level of popularity Professionals of retail and service outlets have understood the importance of the built environment in improving product evaluations, consumer satisfaction with the shopping experience and sales.

There is a need for the ongoing training programs in Retail Management for the all managerial and non managerial workers.

There is a need to give more raise up the Travel and leisure Industry in the united states.


The concern in retail sector in Oman is perpetual. It had been the same in the past and it

will continue to be the same in the future: understanding the retail consumer. In Oman consumers have higher expectations for lower prices. They are not prepared to bargain their wants and ethical beliefs for simply more expensive products or basic low priced items. Shopping is becoming increasingly individualistic, motivated by the growing variety of the consumer software industry, technology enablers and consumer's desire for greater influence and control. The retail electricity structure has once and for all shifted from retailers to buyers with an increase of and more shopping malls in Oman. Vendors have to use the problem fixing approach. This means understanding what the consumer is trying to accomplish by looking at his ultimate goal.

The hypermarkets in Oman are constantly monitoring the feedbacks given by the clients and are extremely quick to react to the difficult areas and recommendations. The hypermarkets as long as will keep their fingertips on the pulse of the gulf customers will have quite a distance to move. The retailers need to understand that Vendors don't own customers, they own merchants. There can be an increasing population transitioning from loyalists to non inclination. Consumers need to be connected. It means getting away from a purchase mentality and focusing on customer relationships, bonds of trust that induce innovative opportunities to increase the partnership further. Live abundant but act poor. Prosperity levels and purchasing electricity are increasing, people overspend and retail has never been so excellent but there's a great consideration to shop where prices seems to be more justified.

Shopping should be not only convenient but easy, done in the consumer's way and rate. Progressive process, service and design solutions that are simple, intuitive and in tune with customers' needs. Consumers value what's scarcer and time is at the most notable of the first for most. They need it fast, thy want it now (immediate gratification), they need it first (latest and most significant).

Innovative suppliers are marketing with companies in other business sectors to offer

new products outside their skills. The global tendencies are set in more mature and yet still very energetic markets, Similar tendency with Oman Rapidly they spread across the globe transported by the increasing existence of worldwide known brands. The task is to understand the styles to assume the mood of the customers and since before plus more then ever, there's a need to think global and act local.

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