Automated Vehicles to reinforce Retail Proposition?

Article by Andrea Zaffin commenting on the article “Technology delivered: Implications for cost, customers, and competition in the last-mile ecosystem

The world of automation has always been a fascinating topic.

The future described in this article makes me imaging a scenario of non-stop flow of automated vehicles running up and down our streets delivering our online shopping 24/7 (yes probably we will have automated receiving areas too!) basically extending the supply chain till our doorstep.

Definitely efficient and convenient. This will give additional mileage to online increasing service and convenience to further level.

However the excitement is not without some concern for the competition off line. I think about the impact that this will have on the famous ultimate reason that make us taking time and effort to drive to a physical store: “the retail experience”.

Let’s say that walking around a mall carrying big shopping bags is not exactly the kind of “experience” we look for, so maybe this futuristic evolution driven by automated vehicles might become somehow a service to reinforce physical stores proposition too, at least in this case technology will be fairly applicable to both on and off line retailers for the benefit of all consumers.


Hypermarket retail vitality

Article by Andrea Zaffin

When I arrived in 2000 in Dubai, “the destination” for shopping was Deira City Centre. The attractiveness of the place was phenomenal being the first modern centre with anchor brands (Ikea, Carrefour, Plug Ins, Zara) under one roof.
Carrefour particularly has always amazed me being a retail format in my opinion way more than just a hypermarket.
One thing was the capability to innovate and adapt with market trends not only in food but for example in mobile business when this category started booming in the early 2000.
Yesterday after some time I was touring with the usual affection the place and I found out that the toy area became a real Kids Club (a must for anyone who lives or visits Dubai with kids!)
After 18 years this place keep showing an amazing capability to reinvent its proposition.
Definitely I will make sure to walk through more often to enjoy the dynamic product offer and the positive energy of the crowd.
For whoever needs reassurance about the vitality of retail in Dubai I strongly recommend to join.

Dubai Retail in Dubai

Dubai: The Ultimate Retail Destination

Dubai Retail in Dubai

Andrea Zaffin, Founder and  Managing Partner of Proriented, comments the Article “Dubai’s Retail Space to Surge by 50% in Three Years, CBRE Says”

Normally I am not so inclined to easy going optimism so reading the article at the beginning I was pretty doubtful too of all what is going on.

On the other side having being 18 years in Dubai and having experienced the amazing transformation of the city I started turning my thoughts imaging that this huge increase of retail space actually can be a challenge but also a phenomenal opportunity for Dubai to upgrade commercial real estate and correctly as mentioned in the article to requalify underperforming retail areas to new destinations.

It is true that what is going on is truly massive, it is also true that Dubai proved over the years to have an amazing capability to cope with challenges that initially were looking unachievable.

One for all the ambition to become the biggest international airport in the world headquartering the biggest international airline of the world ….bigger than Heathrow bigger than British Airways….unthinkable 15 years ago….well mission successfully accomplished a few years ago! (ok ok I know I am talking about transportation vs retail it is different ….Yes you are right….However, the spirit driving the ambition to succeed is the same!)

Yes, the challenge this time seems again too big…. the vision first and the execution after to deliver a massive wave of modern new retail space to lead Dubai to become the ultimate global retail destination ….no matter what I definitely love Dubai taking this challenge …..and looking forward to the next one!


About Proriented

We are a task force including high-level professionals who operate within your organization and are focused on managing and promoting interests in the territory. At PRORIENTED we strive to innovate and to enhance development. We endeavor to succeed by blending professionalism and mindset coming from a structured corporate environment with agility and entrepreneurship that are typical of SMEs.
Country Management

Innovative country Management solutions to acquire Senior experience and Expertise at the right cost


Over the past 10 years there has been a tremendous increase of amount of information available to everyone thanks to new technologies.
This has clearly increased level of transparency basically reducing price disparity across different markets (I think especially on durable consumer products). This a process still ongoing however we all are better informed and more critics about paying a certain price for goods and services we purchase.

This means that in principle gross margin level overall is getting more aligned in most of the markets.

On the other side what is still different is the cost of operations which has substantially increased in many countries and today it is a higher barrier to establish a presence in certain markets.
The pressure on gross margin is making this scenario even more complicated.

In this situation the right question to any organisation is not IF to have a local presence in the market but HOW to effectively and efficently operate locally.
Well, keep doing in the same way as always done for the past years definitely is not the right answer!

The good thing about tough situation like today in many markets is that often there is no choice either you “make it or break it”.
And “to make it”…. organizations have to find innovative approach like for example alternative solutions to acquire the needed senior managerial experience and expertise paying the right cost.

How much seniority does require your local operations? Do you need a full time senior country manager? Or is it more suitable a trustworthy external director to advise on strategy and guide your team so you can invest more in strong sales and operations resources?

Before there was not much option so if you needed an experienced country manager you had to pay the full price for it.

Today you can have access to alternatives to secure trustable business management seniority with cost effective approach so you can optimise your investment focusing resources on what really matters for your local organization such as business development, account management, merchandising, market know how, customer service.

Evolving markets and shared economy are driving innovation in today’s country management, make sure to leverage that for the future of your business!

Andrea Zaffin
Proriented Managing Partner and Founder

If you want to know more contact us

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P.O.Box 126732, Dubai – UAE


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