Zeina Ladki, Brand & Business Development Consultant, Gigi Boutique

The benefits to a personalized, in-store experience.

Zeina Ladki, former Al Tayer Group Buying Manager of 12 years and current Business Development Consultant in Dubai, has a breadth of merchandising experience across Lebanon and UAE. She enlightens Curated Today about her integral role in the newly launched concept store in Dubai, Gigi Boutique, and her righteous confidence in customers appreciating an in-store experience over a digital one.

About Gigi 

Gigi is a new concept boutique that revolutionizes the retail experience and showcases an unprecedented curation of regional brands and designers under one state-of-the-art space.

Serving as an interactive platform that offers experiential activations, presents luxury brand concepts and allows for unique social-sharing moments, going beyond the typical concept store. With an enriched calendar of events comprising of workshops and tutorials tapping into a diverse range of topics, Gigi positions itself as a regional authority and vanguard for fashion, beauty, art and design.

1. Describe yourself as Retail Business Development Consultant in one sentence.

I have the ability to create a fashion signature statement yet I keep it commercial.

2. How did your experience in buying and merchandising for so many years shape the way you understand consumer behavior in the region today?

Since we are in Dubai, a cosmopolitan city, we have to take into consideration the many nationalities that are our end consumers (not only those from this region).

3. Briefly tell us more about the launch of Gigi Boutique; what was your vision for it, and what was your position in developing the project?

I am the Creative Director of Gigi; I worked on it from A to Z. From the curation of the brands to the input on the interiors, I supported H&H development in their meticulous efforts.

I want Gigi to be the platform of opportunities for many talents out there.

4. What was it like to launch Gigi during COVID-19? How did you manage considering the circumstances?

It was tough however I agreed with H&H CEO, Miltos Bosinis, that we will set a date and open the store no matter what and just take it day by day.

5. What makes Gigi unique from other concept stores in the region?

Gigi combines fashion retail, F&B, and an activation interactive space for regional designers to pop up with us in addition to create workshops and brand launches.

6. How important was having an event space like you’ve built in Gigi for the overall customer journey experience?

The event space will help boost footfall to the mall via workshops, tutorial brand launches and of course via the pop-ups hosted in the space.

7. What’s the most important tip you have for other entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to find niche gaps in the market?

Make sure you are not taking risks with the clients you are working with but at the same time try to think outside of the box and be creative.

8. Considering the effects of COVID-19 and new tech developments, what do you think the future landscape of B&M shopping will be like within the next 5 years?

Regardless of the tech development I think with COVID. people now appreciate the luxury of being able to be out shopping. Therefore I feel the experience factor should be taken into consideration to create the desire for the shopper to come to the mall rather than staying in and ordering online.

"I want Gigi to be the platform of opportunities for many talents out there."