Sports fashion retailer JD Sports is expanding its wings to the Middle East under Dubai retailer GMG. The franchise agreement was signed not too long ago between Régis Schultz, the CEO of JD Sports, and Mohammad A. Baker, GMG’s Deputy Chairman and CEO.
The 10-year agreement features several terms, with GMG poised to open around 50 JD Sports stores by 2028. Over the years, the stores will focus on several locations, specifically in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait.
The partnership marks a significant turning point in JD’s overall strategy for global growth and expansion into untapped markets. Previously, it set an ambitious benchmark to open 200 to 300 new stores yearly for the next five years.
Together, the JD Sports and GMG partnership will propel the development of the athleisure industry in the country. As a Middle East-based global retailer and distributor, GMG has the relevant market knowledge, experience, portfolio, and position to promote and grow the brand in this region.
“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 first-hand 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 partner for us in the region,” said Shultz.
The athleisure market in the Middle East has seen exponential growth in recent years, with a focus on health and well-being as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this energetic partnership, consumers stand to gain special access to the latest styles from popular sports brands like New Balance, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.