Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad Programme Success Stories – Wallace & Co: Success in Community, Growth in Individuality
We partnered up with Majid Al Futtaim and Microsoft in 2022 for the Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad Programme, to amplify the growth of handpicked SMEs and startups. We spoke to Dennie Wallace, founder of Wallace & Co, as he walked us through the company’s progression up until their participation in the Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad Programme, shedding light on its most advantageous outcomes and newfound opportunities.
Wallace & Co is a UAE-based wellness and home fragrance brand founded back in 2016, the first of its kind in MENA. Since its humble debut as a pop-up store, the company has been steadily exhibiting the makings of a massive retail player in an industry with plenty of promise.
Operating as part of the extensive Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem endows high-growth SMEs and startups with major opportunities to explore new possibilities. Exposure and credibility are guaranteed when you run a business in the Mall of the Emirates, a destination frequented by 42 million visitors yearly. Wallace has had the opportunity to meet celebrities, influencers, retailers, peers, even royalty, building valuable connections for future growth.
Aside from projected partnerships and successes, one of the most rewarding outcomes of the program for Wallace & Co has been the self-propelled learning experience of operating a physical store. Previously, the company sold its products through high-end hotel stores and luxury spa institutions. Now, however, the new operations are managed entirely by the company, encompassing everything from visual display to day-to-day sales and supply procedures. The Wallace & Co team had to take new responsibilities on board and learn a broad set of new skills in the process, a precious asset gained through the Majid Al Futtaim integration.
The Challenges of Communication: from Conveying Value to Marketing Scents
Wallace, who is familiar with the complexities of designing a business pitch to sway potential partners and investors, credits AstroLabs with facilitating the process, and helping him analyze this opportunity. A budding business owner might create lengthy documents with little value to showcase their company. Instead, pilot programs led by local partners can help divide the pitching process into small, manageable steps, ensuring that the value of the business is clearly and concisely communicated.
Wallace & Co subsequently emerged as one of the 14 winners of the inaugural edition of the program, and was able to address another daunting challenge, one that is unique to the fragrance industry. Marketing a scent can be quite tricky, especially through a screen, and with numerous competitors vying for the same client base.
Access to the Majid Al Futtaim network proved to be an effective solution for this added layer of complexity associated with fragrance marketing. Thanks to its newly operational stations in City Center and the Mall of the Emirates, Wallace & Co’s customers now have an outlet to experience the brand physically, inducing a more immersive and better-informed online experience. The results are already manifesting through a 12% increase in sales since the program wrapped, but also a notable 6% growth in website traffic.
Strong Ecosystems Propelling Bold Business
Wallace & Co was born as an answer to a glaring gap in the MENA home fragrance market. The region’s rich history and its status as a “melting pot of transient aromas” presented a particular allure to Wallace. Seven years later, the Wallace & Co team is more motivated than ever, thanks to the Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad Programme. Today, the company has its sights set on Saudi Arabia and other promising global markets like North America and Asia.
As for the Majid Al Futtaim Programme, its second chapter is already underway. In this edition, Majid Al Futtaim, AstroLabs, and DIFC are setting the stage for a number of emerging local and global startups and SMEs within the field of climate tech, as these innovative ventures gear up to potentially join one of the biggest and most interconnected ecosystems in the world.