JD Sports to launch 50 stores in MENA through franchise with Dubai-based GMG

British sportswear retailer JD Sports is set to launch 50 stores in the MENA region through a franchise agreement the Dubai-based GMG.

The company, which trades as JD Sports Fashion plc (JD) on London Stock Exchange (LSE) said it will open 50 stores in the region under a franchise agreement, starting with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt, by 2028.

The openings are part of the company’s plans to open 200-300 stores every year over the next five years, a stock market statement said. 

The move marks JD’s second foray into the GCC after its low-cost fitness centre brand JD Gyms acquired homegrown UAE company GymNation last year.

CEO Regis Schultz,  who has previously worked with Dubai conglomerate Al Futtaim Group’s retail division, said the deal was JD’s first franchise agreement.

Shultz joined JD, which is based in Bury, Greater Manchester, following the departure of Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, who left shortly after the company was jointly fined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) due to reports of secret meetings with takeover target FootAsylum, according to UK press reports. 

“We are very pleased to be delivering this historic deal, the first franchise agreement JD has entered, in partnership with GMG,” Schultz said.

"Through my own career, I have seen first-hand the massive untapped potential for retailers in the Middle East, and I am certain that GMG – with their expansive retail expertise and a local understanding of the customer – are the best partners for us in the region.”

Mohammad A Baker, deputy chairman and CEO of GMG, said: “This alliance is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the lives of consumers in the region, as we embark on a journey to provide them with unmatched choices and empower their active lifestyles.”

JD Sports said in its LSE statement that there had been a heightened focus on health and wellness, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven strong growth in the athletic leisure market in the Middle East.

GMG has interests in the MENA and Asia, and distributes major sportswear brands including adidas, Speedo and Wilson.  It also has its own sports retail brand Sun, Sand & Sports, in its portfolio, as well as supermarket retailers Geant and Aswaaq, and has health and beauty, properties and logistics divisions. 


Source: https://www.zawya.com/en/business/retail-and-consumer/jd-sports-to-launch-50-stores-in-mena-through-franchise-with-dubai-based-gmg-hf8mpmrk


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