Yoox-Net-A-Porter signs up to Middle East joint venture
Yoox-Net-A-Porter Group is embarking on a joint venture with Symphony Investments, an entity controlled by Mohamed Alabbar, as it looks to grow its presence in the Middle East.
The partnership will see Alabbar focus his entire online luxury retail activity in the region exclusively through the new joint venture.
Yoox-Net-A-Porter will hold a 60% stake in the joint venture while Symphony Investments will own the remaining 40%.
The JV will manage all of the group’s existing multi-brand online stores in the region including Net-A-Porter, Mr Porter, Yoox and The Outnet.
The new company will operate in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, and may expand to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa at a later date.
To provide Middle Eastern luxury customers with a fully localised offer, the JV will establish on-the-ground operations including a Dubai office with dedicated sales and marketing, customer care and PR teams, a Dubai distribution centre, and the development of a localised offering ranging from Arabic-language customer care and content to local currency and payment methods.
The JV will open the local office and distribution centre in Dubai by the end of 2017. Yoox and The Outnet will debut in 2018, while Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter will launch in 2019, followed by selected online flagship stores.
Federico Marchetti, chief executive of Yoox-Net-A-Porter Group, said: “We are thrilled by the potential of the Middle East market: combining YNAP and Mohamed Alabbar’s strengths, we look forward to giving shoppers in the region access to a fantastic luxury assortment with our unparalleled service and content. We were delighted to welcome Mohamed Alabbar as a strategic investor earlier this year and together we are now embarking on a major expansion in the region.”
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