GMG commits Higher investments in Saudi Arabia with new Riyadh headquarters
- Leading family-owned conglomerate hopes to double workforce in the Kingdom
- Head office opening follows recent ‘mega-warehouse’ unveiling, also in the Saudi capital
Popular family-owned holding company GMG has announced its further expansion and investment in Saudi Arabia with the opening of its new head office in Riyadh, with the group’s Deputy Chairman and CEO Mohammad A. Baker focusing to double its 1,200-strong workforce in the country once normal trading conditions resume after the COVID-19 pandemic.
GMG already has an active presence in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its nationwide network of apparently 90 outlets, also includes those of its Sun and Sand Sports chain, the Middle East’s vast sports retailer and distributor of global brands including Nike, Columbia, and Vans.
Baker said the group anticipates further growth from its sports retail operations following the recent opening of a 23,000 square-meter mega-warehouse outside Riyadh, which will integrate existing office and warehousing facilities in Jeddah.
It is also looking forward to introduce food and healthcare brands from its portfolio, he added. Meanwhile, the company is reinforcing its online retail services, as well as hosting more in-store innovations, such as contactless mobile checkouts, in response to changing consumer habits post COVID-19.
“The fact that our new Riyadh headquarters is three times bigger than our old offices clearly signals the scale of our ambitions in Saudi Arabia and our commitment to invest – not only in brick-and-mortar operations but also in our people, over half of whom are Saudi citizens,” notes Baker. “Next year, we celebrate 15 years in Saudi Arabia, and strengthening our presence in the Kingdom is essential if we are to realize the next phase of our growth in the region’s largest economy and one of the fastest-growing retail markets “ he added.
“We believe Saudi Arabia has immense untapped potential. The government’s recent initiative calling upon the international private sector to further invest in the Kingdom is to be welcomed, particularly because it will pave the way for further job creation,” Baker said.
According to a recent Euromonitor report, sales of premium sports brands such as Nike performed strongly towards the end of last year in Saudi Arabia, and this trend is set to continue with consumer spending expected to revive quickly once the social restrictions imposed by the pandemic start to relax.
Baker added that the group is ambitious to ramp up its community engagement in Saudi Arabia. As the official Nike distributor in Saudi Arabia, GMG already works closely with the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) to boost participation in sports and more active lifestyles, in a country where diabetes and obesity rates exceed the global average.
“Steady progress has been made over the past decade, but there is much more to be done and we are eager to be a partner, working with young people especially, to make regular exercise part of their daily routine,” concluded Baker.