Footwear retailing, Dubai-style
Despite my long-standing concern with clothes, it’s only in recent years that I have been particularly interested in shoes. I am not a keen shopper either, but despite these two relative reservations, even I was pretty damn impressed by Level Shoe District, reputedly the world’s largest premium footwear emporium. It covers 96,000 sq ft within The Dubai Mall, the vast shopping centre in downtown Dubai.
The creation of The Chalhoub Group, which has been involved in retail, distribution and marketing of premium products since 1955, Level (or level, as it is officially styled) replaced an unsuccessful attempt to recreate a traditional gold market or souk in The Dubai Mall. It was opened on 12 October 2012. The main buyer for the concept store is Alberto Oliveros, who previously looked after accessories for Ralph Lauren Europe. he’s seen here in the men’s multi-brand section.
There are something like 250 brands in the store, which together offer about 30,000 styles. Alberto does not buy many examples of each style, but, even so, he told me that there are about 300,000 pairs of shoes (yes, three hundred thousand) in stock at the height of the season. The stock rooms, which are located at the perimeter of the area, are very well organised, he assures me.
Level is divided into four main sections: Women’s Designer;
As well as the multi-brand areas, Level also boasts about 40 separate stores, one of which is Corthay’s contemporary boutique.
The individual boutiques are situated around the perimeter of Level, while the multi-brand areas are situated on the main floor. The look of Level was created by Shed, a London-based interior architecture and design agency. Nice going, guys! You even impressed someone as jaded as me.
Sign up for The Musgrave Manifesto
- The Place London Men’s
- Croots England. Made in Yorkshire. Seen at Pitti Uomo 91
- Christopher Raeburn for Save The Duck at Pitti Uomo 91
- Z Zegna at Pitti Uomo 91
- Johnstons of Elgin at Pitti Uomo 91
- PS by Paul Smith at Pitti Uomo 91
- Pitti Uomo hits 91 not out