Dubai-based retailer Landmark Group plans to open 50 new stores across the UAE by end-2015, increasing its presence in the country to over 550 stores, it announced on Wednesday.
The group’s total retail area in the UAE will increase from the existing 6.3 million sq ft to around eight million sq ft, confirmed Vipen Sethi, CEO of Landmark, whose retail concepts include Centrepoint, Babyshop, Splash, Shoe Mart, Max, Lifestyle, Emax and Home Centre, among others.
Up to half of the new stores are set to come up in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall, which is slated to open in November 2014, while developments are also earmarked for Tecom and Sharjah, Sethi said. Landmark is also opening three new stores in Dubai Festival City Mall – Centrepoint, Max and Emax – which will span 100,000 sq ft of retail space over two floors.
Speaking to reporters, Sethi said that the group, which currently has around 50,000 employees, will hire at least 2,500 additional staff in the UAE before the end of next year, to cater to the new stores.
In terms of investment, Sethi refused to disclose any figures, only stating that it is “significant.”
“We have more than enough cash for the expansion,” he said, and confirmed that the group had no plans for an IPO at the moment.
The UAE’s retail sector is booming, and estimated to grow around 32.9 per cent from Dhs114 billion in 2012 to reach Dhs151 billion by 2015, according to a recent report by Dubai FDI.
The country’s retail sector is aided by high disposable incomes, retail real estate expansion, a steady inflow of international retailers, population growth and rising fashion consciousness, the report said.
“The dynamics of Dubai and the UAE is such that it attracts a lot of visitors and people spend money here – both local residents and visitors,” said Sethi.