The Retail Edit Hub - What's next for the retail market in Iran?
With the international sanctioned lifted on Iran, multinational brands and retailers are increasingly looking to exploit this untapped market. Iran boasts the second largest economy in the Middle East, an attractive tax regime and little foreign debt.
Over the past few decades Iran’s educated population have been driven to seek employment overseas due to a constrained economy and insufficient foreign and domestic investment. Now that this is no longer the case, we have seen an increasing number of Iranians living in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe looking to return to apply the experience and knowledge they have grown in a mature and established retail market to help with the development.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 300 retail properties are currently under construction across the country including the 2.7 million-square-foot Iran Mall in Tehran’s north-western outskirts. Roberto Cavalli opened its first store in Iran in February 2016 and Spanish ready-to-wear fashion retailer Mango is already operating, but multinational fashion & cosmetic brands are still relatively sparse.
Iran air has also been given the green light to purchase 80 Boeing and 118 Airbus aircrafts, facilitating increased travel into the country which will in turn provide wider investment opportunities and heightened growth potential.
In Q4 2016 we saw an increased number of roles based in Tehran which were mainly country managers, operations, area manager roles across fashion, cosmetic & beauty and supermarkets. A consistent trend identified by the Carter Murray Retail team was that multinational brands were seeking Iranian origin retail professionals located globally who were willing to move back to Tehran.