Gulf Marketing Group (GMG), the diversified retail and services business, will complete 43 new store openings across the GCC during its current financial year, marking its most significant annual expansion to date and bringing its regional portfolio to more than 200 stores.
As of today, the Group operates 183 stores across the Gulf, under the Sun & Sand Sports and Super Care Pharmacy marques, as well as individual brand outlets including Timberland, VANS and Columbia. Last month, it launched the first Nike Golf store in the region. Twenty-three of these stores have opened during the current financial year, with another 20 planned for launch by June 2014.
Mohammad A Baker, GMG’s Deputy Chairman, said the new stores this year mark the most ambitious expansion drive in the history of the company.
“We have built GMG’s retail offer over the last 30 years to become one of the largest independent retailers in the Gulf region. Now we are poised to take the next major step in the development of the Group, with new stores in a range of key markets.
“These will be within our core Group retail divisions, Sun & Sand Sports and Supercare Healthcare, under their main brands as well as individual outlets.”
Mr Baker said the company’s relationship with leading international brands meant it was well-positioned for successful growth in 2014.
“As the Gulf distributor for many leading sports and lifestyle brands, including Nike, VANS, Timberland, The North Face and Colombia, we are able to meet growing consumer demand across the region.
“Sun & Sand Sports is a ‘house of brands’ in which customers can choose from across our full product range, whilst we also offer stand-alone retail options for the key brands too.
“With the Gulf market so robust, and with the confidence of strong macroeconomic performance this year, we believe 2014 is an opportunity to take a major step forward in our key markets.”
GMG’s expansion in its 2013-2014 financial year will include 14 new stores for its flagship Sun & Sand Sports brand and six new Sun & Sand Sports KIDS outlets. The new stores are being focused in key growth markets, particularly KSA.
The company said sales for its current financial year are strong in all regional markets, with the UAE performing particularly well. It expects 2014 to be even stronger, boosted especially by the FIFA World Cup, starting in June.
“We have been pleased with our retail performance across all key markets in 2013. The UAE was a particular highlight, as strong local demand was also boosted by tourists. We only see this improving further in the future.
“We are confident about the prospects for 2014. Any World Cup year is always positive and we believe this year will see a real surge in demand for all soccer related items in our sports stores.”
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