The 2 most innovative companies in retail of 2023

This year’s most innovative retail companies are reshaping the shopping experience with technology.

The 2 most innovative companies in retail of 2023
[Source photo: Fast Company Middle East]

Explore the Fast Company Middle East’s Most Innovative Companies 2023 list; featuring 42 winning entries reshaping businesses and industries. We’ve selected the companies making the most significant impact with their initiatives across 23 categories, including the most innovative services, sustainability & cleantech and retail companies.

In the evolving retail scene, innovation drives change. The sector has transformed with a strong focus on community engagement and customer-centricity. This year’s most innovative retail companies are reshaping the shopping experience with technology and strategic acquisitions to meet modern consumer expectations.

Chalhoub Group

For enhancing and transforming retail with emerging tech

Chalhoub Group accelerated in domains such as Web3, and Al in the past two years. For example, SOL3MATES, a web3-native sneaker brand, pushed the boundaries of innovation, creativity, and storytelling. Another achievement is the Christofle x Prince Roblox Collection, a collection of gaming wearables in partnership with Prince, a fashion brand by Boltable Studios. This NFT collection and a collection of wearables in Roblox meet the needs of the younger generation, and it introduced a crypto checkout option on 

In 2022, the brand launched Reflaunt to enable customers to purchase luxury, second-hand pieces, sell their designer bags, shoes, and accessories through the Level Shoes website, and receive either cash or store credit. The group also implemented RPA for e-commerce product uploads, leading to a 50% reduction in the enrichment process time, streamlining operations, and enhancing efficiency, and ventured into the realm of Generative Al for e-commerce product imagery. 


For community growth and connectivity

GMG has made significant strides in the retail and food manufacturing sectors. The acquisition of Aswaaq has established GMG as a key player in the UAE’s community mall market. Their partnership with JD Sports signals expansion plans in the sports fashion retail industry across the region. Launching online platforms like Nike websites and establishing an Asian headquarters in Malaysia highlight their growing regional presence. GMG Cares’ initiative and collaboration with Silal reflect a commitment to community well-being and sustainability. Their move towards unified commerce has enhanced the customer experience, and their focus on producing good food products shows their dedication to customer satisfaction.

Most Innovative Companies 2023