Localising Luxury: Nisreen Shocair, CEO, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP Middle East Discusses the Company’s Future in the Region

Lindsay Judge   |   05-05-2022

Today YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP is the world’s leading online luxury and fashion retail business. With a strong focus on sustainability, supporting local and upcoming designers, as well as promoting long-lasting fashion, the Group is a leading force in the future of the luxury industry and it continues to innovate and develop its platforms to offer customers a seamless and personalised experience of online shopping.


In the Middle East, the Group has experienced rapid expansion over the past few years. Having launched as part of a joint venture with Mohammed Alabbar’s Symphony Investments in 2016, the focus has been on localising the Group’s sites and ensuring they provide global content and products that are of specific interest to the customers in this region, and a more personalised user experience. Under the leadership of Nisreen Shocair, CEO YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP Middle East, the Group has recently launched Arabic platforms for its brands as well as growing its localised capabilities and improving the customer experience to offer a service that meets the demand of the customers in this region. As the Group continues to go from one strength to another we meet Nisreen Shocair to discover more about the continued development of the Group in the region and the plans for the future.


What is the current focus for the YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group in the Middle East?

Our main focus across NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER, The Outnet and YOOX is to cater to the discerning Middle Eastern customer. Our platforms are all localised at this stage, meaning that our current customers and new customers have the option to enjoy the same unique shopping experience in Arabic. Our localised platforms also offer curated merchandising that reflects local nuances that can be found across different markets in the region. For instance, you’ll find that we have a dedicated Ramadan edit each year on each one of the platforms. We also offer regional editorial content on Porter Arabic on NET-A-PORTER that highlights topics of interest for customers in the region. We are working towards the same goal with The Journal, MR PORTER’s dedicated editorial page.

We also understand the power of social media, especially in the Middle East, where the engagement rates and screen time amongst younger customers are much higher than elsewhere in the world. On this, we commission regional key opinion leaders and work closely with social content creators on different campaigns and local initiatives. This helps drive our brand value proposition in pushing key messages in the region. For example, we recently launched our first regional campaign in the Middle East for YOOX. The campaign focused on the month of Ramadan and in line with YOOX’s overarching strategy of championing up and coming young talents, we featured two regional GEN_Z talents in the campaign.

Finally, you’ll see that we continuously create engaging offline activations and events that drive our brand resonance and increase our share of voice in the media. We had our menswear and Iris & Ink SS’22 launch event for The Outnet back in March at ME Studio, ME Hotel. The event was a success as we saw a great turnout, an increase in app downloads and social media traction. It also helped highlight two key moments for The Outnet such as the menswear launch and the continued efforts behind Iris & Ink as a circular brand – with 85% of the collection created under a considered process.



How is NET-A-PORTER supporting local designers in the region and further afield?

NET-A-PORTER is a global brand and we aim to offer our regional designers a chance to grow on a global scale. We had Benchellal launch an exclusive and considered eveningwear collection on NET-A-PORTER last year. His collection was highlighted under the “NET SUSTAIN” edit where customers can discover consciously crafted fashion, beauty, homeware and jewellery on site. The brand has been a regional favourite and we are looking to grow this momentum even further.


We also saw a huge success with the Elie Saab launch last year on NET-A-PORTER. The launch was supported with 360 marketing communications and a virtual event with Mr Elie Saab himself, talking through his plans on the platform and how he sees further growth in the Middle East.

You’ll find that our regional designer list has grown over the past few years across all categories, not just ready-to-wear. We have Nimerology in our homeware category. Nour’s designs are loved by our regional and global customers alike. We also featured the designer; Nour Al Nimer, in Porter Arabic to give the NET-A-PORTER customers an insight into who she is.



What can you tell us about the exclusive collections available at NET-A-PORTER? 

One of NET-A-PORTER’s unique selling propositions is its ongoing exclusive offering. The list is endless but customers can constantly find exclusives during our key regional moments such as the Judith Leiber Flag clutches during the UAE 50th celebration last year, or our Ramadan exclusive offering that has almost doubled since last year with regional favourites such as Taller Marmo, Elie Saab, Louisa Parris, Oscar de la Renta, and more.

We also have exclusives and collaborations offered by trending brands such as Jacquemus and Loewe Paula Ibiza during seasonal and new-in campaigns. The Jacquemus pieces are still available on the website, I love all the colours and the launch coincides perfectly with the approaching summer holidays!



In your own words, how would you differentiate the following platforms: NET-A-PORTER/Mr Porter, YOOX and The OUTNET?

NET-A-PORTER delivers the ultimate curation of products and content. It’s exclusive and on-trend.

The OUTNET is for your essentials, the classic pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t go without. It also is the benchmark of luxury discount shopping.

MR PORTER is a lifestyle brand, your ultimate online destination for men’s style.

YOOX is GEN_Z, fun, colourful, accessible and expressive. You can find a wide selection of hard-to-find clothing and accessories there.


Our four platforms share a common goal of encouraging conscious and responsible shopping, helping customers be kinder to the planet by investing in fashion with longevity.


What are some of the steps YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group has taken in the region to make the customer experience smoother?

We have a 24/7 Customer Care team that speaks both English and Arabic and we also have a dedicated personal shopping team in the Middle East, catering to our EIP’s (Extremely Important Person) needs. Our return and exchange process is speedy and we constantly work on making it as seamless as possible across all four brands. As discussed before, we are also offering customers the chance to enjoy their shopping experience in their language of choice and we ensure that our communication channels reflect the same.



Without the in-store experience, what luxury benefits do customers get from shopping online? 

We offer an unparalleled curation of products and content that you will not find in physical stores. As mentioned, we also have ongoing exclusives and limited-time capsule collections that the customer can’t find anywhere else. Our fine watches and jewellery category is one of the top-performing on-site as it offers a great roster of designers that customers can shop for from the comfort of their homes. Our dedicated personal shopping team also offers previews, exclusive ongoing discounts, and exclusive events for our EIPs (Extremely Important Person).


Can you share a little on sustainability at the Group and how you are supporting the company’s policies on this in the Middle East? 

At YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, we are inspired by the possibilities the future holds and how we can play a role in shaping it. We see a future where the clothes we love last for longer and if they fade, may start a new beginning, forming part of a circular fashion system. A future where customers are empowered to make informed choices and where luxury and fashion can play a role in restoring our planet. We believe in an inclusive future where our industry is truly diverse, and where the next generation is equipped with the skills to make a difference. Through our technology capabilities and the global influence we’ve grown over the past 20 years, our aim is to collaborate and foster an enabling environment for our people, industry peers, brand partners and customers, who want to see a change and create a sustainable future together. It’s time to transform the way fashion is made, sold and used.



What is the biggest achievement of the Group in the region so far?

We are pioneers and leaders in bringing together the realms of technology and luxury, YOOX NET-A-PORTER connects the most discerning clientele with the joy of luxury and fashion that lasts a lifetime and beyond. It combines a curated edit of the world’s most coveted brands with personalised end-to-end service, all shaped by 20 years of insights into the modern shopper. This formula will never change and it’s reflected in any new direction that the business takes. For instance, when we localised the NET-A-PORTER website, we maintained our personalised services, our unparalleled editorial and our roster of coveted brands by curating everything in the language of the region. While also continuously aiming to bring Middle Eastern talent to a global stage through Porter Arabic.


As a businesswoman what is the professional motto that you live by?

  1. No one knows you, loves you or believes in you more than you.
  2. Never stop learning so you never stop earning.
  3. You get what you ask for – but don’t forget to always give back.



What are some of your personal favourite brands currently?

I love The Row, Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Loewe and Halpern