Iran; A Dream Market for Retail Industry

The Retail Industry has largely changed in Iran in the past decade. From the traditional Bazaar, the experience of shopping for Iranians have now developed into far more modern and diverse forms. About 50 million m2 of shopping mall retail space have been either constructed or are under construction in Iran in the past decade. The experience of malls exceeds mere shopping for Iranians. Offering a variety of services, malls became cities within cities; acting as centers of public life that symbolizes modernism, diversity, consumerism, and spectacle. However, shopping in modern Iran is not merely confined to shopping malls. Mega Chain Stores have also been developed across Iranian cities; providing almost a complete itinerary of what Iranian households require. It should also be noted that Iran has heavily invested in its IT sector in the past decade; paving the way for the creation and emergence of many online shopping service providers, apps, and startups; and that is why online shopping has been continuously gaining momentum in Iran. In a nutshell, Iran could be considered a dream market for the retail industry because:

  • With a population of about 85 million, and a 0% tax rate on exports and access to a market of 500 million consumers through its massive land and water borders, Iran can prove to be an attractive destination for foreign investment in retail
  • Shopping in general, and shopping from malls in particular has become a habit and a form of entertainment for Iranian households. The income level of urban dwellers in Iran allows them to dedicate a considerable portion of their income to shopping.
  • Iran has one of the World’s most skilled, young, and educated low-wage work.
  • Manufacturing and production in Iran is quite cheap and competitive for international.
  • Through the ‘Law on the Promotion and Protection of Foreign Investment’, the Iranian Government protects foreign investment and guarantees it against all types of non-commercial risks without imposing any legal limitation on the type, method, amount, share, and return rate of the investment.
  • An abundance of empty and ready to use retail space are available across Within the context of the existing economic conditions of Iran, the critical mass of the malls provide a real opportunity for retailers.
  • Through the creation of many ‘Free Trade Zones (FTZ)’ and ‘Special Economic Zones (SEZ)’ across the country, Iran has created business-friendly environments suitable for foreign investment. Their locations make the utmost use from transport infrastructure and facilitate transit of goods and benefit from the improved supply and distribution networks in Iran, and are ideal zones for investment, manufacturing, and distribution of retail industries’ products.


IRANSHOP 2020 Conference and Exhibition shall be held in Kish Island in the Persian Gulf; a Free Trade Zone and a Visa-Free Island in Iran. With more than 2 million tourists per year, and many shopping malls, Kish Island is a major tourist and shopping destination in Iran.

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