When Landmark Group launched within the GCC in 1973, the retail panorama was wholly totally different – not simply within the area, but additionally globally.
Buying meant brick-and-mortar, with e-commerce nonetheless a futuristic idea because the web was non-existent. In truth, 1973 was additionally the yr that Federal Categorical (now FedEx) was created, paving the best way for the logistics provide chain that now kinds an integral a part of the web buying expertise.
Therefore the truth that Landmark continues to be right here at present – and has not simply survived but additionally thrived to develop into one of many largest retail organisations within the Center East and India, has meant the group has needed to always reinvent itself and its choices.
“We began with a single retailer in 1973 in Bahrain and now have over 2,200 retailers throughout the area with a powerful on-line providing throughout all our manufacturers,” explains Renuka Jagtiani, CEO and chairwoman of Landmark Group.
“My husband Micky Jagtiani began Landmark Group with a perception that listening to our clients throughout the area and always adapting to reply their wants would at all times preserve our manufacturers related. We keep true to his imaginative and prescient by specializing in bringing worth to clients and reinventing our providing with the occasions – by scaling up our expertise, logistics and digital initiatives and guaranteeing higher buyer expertise in-store and on-line,” she says.
The corporate’s manufacturers embody the likes of Centrepoint, Babyshop, Splash, Shoemart, Way of life, Max, House Centre, House Field, Emax and low cost outlet Viva. The group has additionally diversified into the leisure, meals and hospitality segments with Citymax Accommodations, Health First and restaurant division Foodmark.
Extra just lately, Landmark additionally ventured into pure-play e-commerce with a brand new model referred to as Styli, focusing totally on the Saudi market. Providing over 30 manufacturers together with personal labels and exterior sports activities manufacturers similar to Nike, Puma and Underneath Armour, Styli targets the dominion’s burgeoning youth section, and has served greater than 375,000 clients since its launch in November 2019.
“We noticed how fashion-forward the Saudi youth was with an online-first shopper behaviour,” says Jagtiani.
Roughly 70 per cent of Styli’s buyer base is underneath the age of 25, with ladies’s clothes the very best performing class in its first yr of operations. According to that, your complete Styli customer support workforce in Riyadh is staffed with Saudi ladies.
“At Landmark Group, gender will not be a differentiator. We’ve got a 40 per cent ladies illustration on the senior-most stage and near 50 per cent of our retail retailer workers are ladies. The previous few years have been very constructive for ladies within the area with the federal government supporting and driving initiatives to help ladies at work and in entrepreneurship – particularly in Saudi Arabia,” says Jagtiani, who has been on the helm for greater than 20 years.
ALL IN A CLICK
Whereas e-commerce was already on an upward trajectory, Covid-19 supplied a large enhance. The e-commerce sector within the GCC is ready to succeed in $50bn by 2025, a current report by Kearney Center East discovered, with a powerful progress of 20 per cent CAGR forecast between 2020 and 2022, decreasing to a CAGR of 14 per cent till 2025.
The identical progress that was anticipated to happen previous to the pandemic has now accelerated, and customers, who’ve tailored to on-line marketplaces, will affiliate this as the brand new regular throughout and postCovid, the report said.
“In our final e-commerce outlook for the GCC in 2017, we forecasted progress of 35 per cent CAGR, which was primarily greater than a four-fold bounce in worth for the sector between 2015 and 2020,” mentioned Adel Belcaid, companion at Kearney Center East.
“By the tip of 2019, it was value simply in need of $18bn, with indicators of maturing progress and intense market competitors. Nonetheless, Covid-19 brought on an unexpected push and gave a brand new, accelerated lease of life to the sector, according to what we have now seen in international markets. This is because of a speedy change in shopper behaviour, with unprecedented adoption of e-commerce by all inhabitants segments, spurred, to a big extent by the brand new regular of social distancing, lockdowns and decreased capability in bodily shops,” he added.
The retail sector within the area has navigated and responded to new rules and tips, states Jagtiani.
“Our funding in expertise, provide chain and e-commerce for the previous few years had a major constructive affect in permitting us to quickly change our methods of working to remain aligned with our clients new wants and behavioural shifts,” she explains.
Styli particularly obtained an impetus in the course of the lockdown final yr, when most customers had been compelled to buy on-line. “Styli grew exponentially throughout 2020. Nevertheless it additionally put great stress on provide chains – each in sourcing merchandise from our distributors in addition to in delivering orders to clients,” states Jagtiani, including that the group’s infrastructure and its capacity to leverage economies of scale helped them preserve tempo with demand.
To maintain up with its rising e-commerce and omni-channel capabilities, Landmark additionally opened a large Dhs1bn fully-automated logistics and distribution hub at JAFZA in Dubai in November 2019. Claimed to be the MENA area’s largest such privately-owned facility, it operates underneath the model identify of Omega Logistics and options superior expertise and processes.
“Our stable logistics and infrastructure capabilities permits our manufacturers to scale up and reply with pace,” says Jagtiani.
Trying forward, the corporate will proceed to broaden manufacturers like Styli whereas additionally rising its attain geographically.
“Whereas it’s Saudi-focused, Styli has now expanded to serve clients within the UAE and Kuwait. The group may be very dedicated to creating Styli greater and in 2021, we’ll broaden our presence to Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt,” says Jagtiani.
“2020 has taught us to adapt higher and to make selections sooner. In 2021 we’ll proceed to give attention to e-commerce, rising our enterprise in South-East Asian markets and strengthening our provide chain infrastructure,” she provides.
Because the regional retail panorama evolves quickly, the chairwoman and CEO is ensuring that the group stays related – for now and the long run.
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