Michel Chalhoub, founder of Dubai-based luxury retailer, dies
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Michel Chalhoub, founder of Dubai-based luxury retailer, dies

Michel Chalhoub, founder of Dubai-based luxury retailer, dies

The founder and chairman of the Dubai-headquartered luxury retailer Chalhoub Group was 89

Michel Chalhoub

Michel Chalhoub, founder and chairman of Dubai-headquartered luxury retailer Chalhoub Group, passed away on Friday at the age of 89.

Taking to Twitter, the group, said, “We mourn an exceptional visionary, a pioneer, a passionate and daring entrepreneur and an inspirational leader. We will honor his legacy which always inspired us.”

The group is being currently led by Michel’s son, Patrick, who is its CEO. It is one of the biggest retailers in the Middle East with over 750 retail outlets spread across over 14 countries – whose brands include Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Tory Burch and L’Occitane, among others.

Michel’s other son, Anthony, was the co-CEO of the group until he passed away in Paris, after battling cancer in 2018 at the age of 63.

Read: Chalhoub Group co-CEO Anthony Chalhoub dies at 63

Born in Damascus in 1931, Michel founded the group in 1955 along with his wife Widad. His sons Patrick and Anthony took over as co-CEOs in 2001.

“An ambassador of luxury who introduced many prestigious brands in the Middle East, [he] sparked a taste for exceptional products and brands in the region and greatly contributed to the shaping of the luxury market as we know it today,” local media cited the company’s board of presidents as saying in a statement on Saturday.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the pressure on the luxury retail industry, Patrick acknowledged last year that the group was going through a period of correction.

The Chalhoub Group confirmed last year that it will lay off 10 per cent of its 12,000-strong workforce. “This year [2020] will be extremely difficult for our business because we will be unable to reduce our costs by 33 per cent and to reduce our inventory quickly. We will have to survive in 2020, go back to a certain level normality in 2021, and then make sure that in 2022 we rebound – and rebound quite strongly,” Patrick told Gulf Business in an exclusive interview last year.

Read: How the luxury retail sector in the UAE can stage a comeback

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