UAE’s Landmark Group says Saudi sales to grow ‘steadily’ this year
by Sunil Kumar Singh
Landmark Arabia, the Saudi arm of UAE-based retailer Landmark Group, expects its business to steadily grow this year after recording an increase in sales in 2018, according to its country head in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia is one of our core markets as we operate over 850 stores spanning more than 11 million square-feet of retail space,” Santosh Pai, Country Head, Landmark Arabia, told Argaam.
Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, is expected to continue to dominate retail sales in the GCC, cumulatively accounting for 77 percent of total sales by 2023, according to a recent report by consultancy firm Alpen Capital.
The Kingdom alone accounted for almost half or $113 billion (44.6 percent) of total Gulf retail spending last year.
According to another report by Euromonitor, recent initiatives taken by the government as part of Saudi Vision 2030 offer a greater long-term and holistic outlook for the Kingdom’s retail sector.
For Landmark Group, increased spending by Saudi consumers is also turning out to be a big growth driver.
“Much of the growth in the retail sector can be attributed to the resulting rise in disposable income and increased purchasing power brought in an expanded labor market,” Pai said.
In May this year, Landmark Group’s fashion retailer, Centrepoint, announced it plans to open 18 new stores across the GCC by June 2020.
The new developments include the recently opened store in Mall of Muscat, launch of the first Centrepoint store in Oasis Mall Sharjah, followed by the latest store now open in Al Ahsa Mall, Dammam.
Saudi Arabia however continues to be one of Landmark’s core markets in the Middle East. Within the Kingdom, Landmark employs over 7,000 Saudi nationals— 5,000 of them being women.
Saudi talent and training new employees continues to be a key priority for the retailer, Pai told Argaam.
He added that Landmark group’s Retail Leadership Program −a one-year training program on retail functions− has trained 43 high performing Saudi employees, of which 38 are women.
The increasing number of women in the Saudi workforce is expected to add to the overall growth of the Kingdom’s labor market, he stated.
In the coming months, Landmark group will be launching several other learning programs in the Kingdom.
“All our developmental efforts are in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, to increase employment opportunities for Saudi youth in the private sector,” Pai said.