Retail industry in Iran traditionally was in hands of Grand Bazaar, along with modernization of the country in the 1960s, modern shopping stores across the main streets such as Valieasr Street, Shariati Street, Azadi Street, as well as Mirdamad Blvd and Jordan Street (now Africa St.) emerged. In 1970s new chain stores called Kourosh Chain Stores were founded which copied concept of Mark & Spencer. First high-rise commercial tower named Plasco Tower with 29,000 sqm and 15 stories 54 years before in 1962 was opened which gave Tehran people the first tastes of modern shopping.
After revolution in 1979, Kourosh stores were confiscated by revolutionary government and the retail evolution process stopped as the 8 years’ war between Iran and Iraq started. After making peace between two neighboring countries in 1988, new wave of retail industry began with founding Refah and Shahrvand Chain stores in middle of 1990s. Meanwhile in the same years new shopping centers opened such as Golestan, Milad-e-Noor in Shahrak Gharb (West Town) as a neighborhood which was always a symbol of western lifestyle as well as Boostan Center in Poonak neighborhood. During first decade of 2000, gradually number of shopping centers increased. But it could be said that year 2009 was a turning point when First Hyperstar branch (Carrefour) opened. It was a signal of readiness of the Iran’s economy and market to accept modern and western style of shopping, although the hardest sanctions against Iran were set just two years later.
Nowadays, speed of changes is very higher than 2010 and before, new coming chain discount stores such as Hyperme, Hyperstar, Ofogh Kourosh, and Jumbo are competing, while new shopping centers such as Palladium, Arg, Kourosh, Tooba, etc. have been constructed exponentially. It is said more than 60 new shopping centers are under construction and still market is waiting for new comers.
FAR Law Firm