GMG and VF Corporation extend partnership to expand footprint across MENA and SEA

GMG, a global retail conglomerate, today announced the expansion of its well-established partnership with VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear, and accessories. Building on more than 12 years of partnership, as part of the distributorship & retail development agreement, GMG will expand the presence of VF’s brands in the region via a growing network of new mono-brand partner stores across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Southeast Asia (SEA) markets over the next five years to offer the VF’s brand experience to a broader consumer base.

Currently, GMG operates 90 VF’s mono-brand stores in MENA and SEA. Overall, GMG aims to roll out over 300 stores during the next five years. GMG will introduce VF’s brands across key Southeast Asian markets, open mono-brand stores, and drive E-commerce business for selected VF brands.

In the MENA region, VF’s renowned brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, and Timberland®, will expand their mono-brand footprint, primarily focusing on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). VF’s brands will also expand their presence in North Africa, strategically focusing on Egypt to reinforce the brands’ presence in this market. The agreement will oversee VF’s The North Face® brand entering the North African market for the first time.

Mohammad A. Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG, said: “Continuing our strategic expansion and adding new markets across SEA signifies a pivotal chapter in our successful long-standing partnership with VF Corporation. Aligned with our shared vision, commitment to exceptional consumer experiences, and the empowerment of active lifestyles, we anticipate continued achievements on this transformative journey together.”

The global retail market was valued at $28.3 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to $37.7 billion by 2027. The MENA region is experiencing steady growth due to the growing population, strong spending power and a stronger affinity to high-quality international brands. On the other hand, the retail industry in SEA is poised to enter a new phase of growth, driven by the rise in disposable income, developing infrastructure, favorable business environments, and an increase in tourism.

Baker added: “Looking ahead, our projections align with the remarkable growth potential of the SEA market, propelled by an expanding labor force, rising household incomes, and an expanding consumer base. Further, consumers’ increased focus on their health has prompted many individuals to put effort into leading healthier lives. As a result, athletic wear has risen in popularity, turning the region into a sports goods retail powerhouse with significant opportunities for businesses seeking to capitalize on its potential. With our history of innovation and customer-centricity, we look forward to setting new industry standards and pushing the boundaries.”

Martino Scabbia Guerrini, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Commercial Officer, and President of Emerging Brands at VF Corporation, said: “We are excited to enhance our long-term partnership with GMG, leveraging our combined strengths to unlock accelerated international growth opportunities for VF’s brands in the MENA and SEA regions. The enhanced partnership will contribute to driving our brand’s regional marketplace strategies, deliver innovative solutions that elevate our go-to-market approach, and strengthen our presence in the region, allowing us to better serve local consumers’ needs”.

GMG’s Sports division boasts a diversified portfolio encompassing international powerhouse brands and home-grown concepts such as Sun & Sand Sports, Dropkick, Nu Athlete, Pedaliere, and Basketbolista. GMG’s partnership with VF Corporation started in 2012 with the Timberland® brand presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership has since been expanded to include Vans®, The North Face®, and Timberland® presence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia (KSA), and South East Asia, currently comprising approximately 90 mono-brand stores.

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