Saudi Arabia’s leading retail conglomerate Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Group (Alhokair), has expanded its retail portfolio by signing two separate franchise agreements with US and Danish companies.
The agreements are with Flying Tiger Copenhagen, a Danish retailer, and Alo Yoga, a US-based yoga and athleisure brand, the company said in a statement.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen is a variety store that sells a range of products such as toys, accessories, stationery, and gadgets, while Alo Yoga in Los Angeles sells fitness and yoga-related clothing.
Mr. Marwan Moukarzel, Chief Executive Officer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair remarked that “as the largest retail market in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is a gateway to the region and an enthusiastic adopter of innovative trends and products. We are confident that Flying Tiger Copenhagen’s wide range of affordable products, will witness great success, especially among young Saudi customers offering more tools to inspire their creativity while meeting local and international sustainability standards.”
The company said that over the next five years, Alhokair and Flying Tiger Copenhagen intend to open 45 stores across the country, with nine stores and an online platform expected to open this year.
According to data portal Statista, the Saudi Arabian market for toys, hobbies, and DIY crafts is projected to rise to $724 million in 2021, as people spend more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first Alo Yoga location will be in Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, but the company has not given an opening date.
Mr. Moukarzel pointed out that “triggered in part by the pandemic, Saudi customers have in the last year or so become increasingly health and fitness-focused and have begun incorporating exercise routines into their daily life. In keeping with this trend, we have seen strong growth in customers choosing to shop for exclusive sports and athleisure wear brands from around the world, in stores and online.”
Mr. MarcoDeGeorge, Co-founder and Co-CEO Alo Yoga stated that the agreement was “a groundbreaking partnership for us, as we expand our global footprint starting with Saudi Arabia.”
Alhokair has over 1,800 retail stores in 12 countries. More than 90 foreign and local brands in fashion, beauty, sports, multimedia, food, and beverage make up its portfolio. It signed a franchise agreement with Fnac Darty, a French retailer, last month to open consumer electronics stores in the kingdom. The first outlet will open in the coming year.
Alhokair and Arabian Centres Company, a mall operator, revealed plans in March to buy a joint 51 percent stake in Vogacloset, a UK-based eCommerce platform with 12 million Middle Eastern users. They acquired 41.2 percent of the company at a pre-money value of $60 million, with the rest subject to an earn-out deal conditional on certain growth levels.