JD Sports expands into Middle East with new franchise deal
JD Sports is to enter the Middle East through the signing of its first franchise agreement.
The deal with Dubai based GMG will enable the sports fashion retailer to open around 50 stores in the region by 2028, with a focus on locations in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt.
The move forms part of JD’s global growth strategy that was announced by JD’s chief executive Régis Schultz at the company’s capital markets event in February this year as it looks to expand into underpenetrated markets.
GMG has a wealth of experience in sports and fashion retailing through its portfolio of more than 500 GMG Sports stores across seven concepts, including its global flagship brand, Sun and Sand Sports.
Schultz said: “We are very pleased to be delivering this historic deal, the first franchise agreement JD has entered, in partnership with GMG. Through my own career, I have seen firsthand 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.
“We also know, from our love index, that no matter the market there is a direct correlation between having a strong physical retail presence, and popularity and love for the brand. We are excited by the opportunity to explore franchise partnerships as an avenue for further store growth in underpenetrated markets, leveraging the global growth phenomenon of athleisure while bringing our proven proposition to more customers worldwide.”
JD is planning to open between 200 and 300 new stores each year over the next five years.
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