Gulf clothing retailer Sana is shutting down its 35 shops and making more than 1,000 staff redundant, according to reports.
UAE newspaper Gulf News cited a senior executive as saying the company’s stores in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will close by the end of August.
He said senior staff were informed of their dismissal at the company’s headquarters in Dubai’s Al Quoz on June 28 and asked to work one month’s notice.
The decision came just days after the June 22 opening of a new flagship store in Dubai’s BurJuman mall, which has now been closed.
There has been no communication to the employees from the company’s owners, according to the publication, and many are concerned they will not be paid their owed salaries and end of service benefits when they leave.
Sana, which has operated in the UAE since 1987, announced two years ago that it was targeting 100 stores across the region by 2020 through an initial investment of Dhs200m.
The company’s website indicates it has 14 stores in the UAE, one in Qatar, 10 in Oman, two in Bahrain and eight in Saudi Arabia.
It was unclear why the company was closing its operations, although many Gulf retailers have struggled in recent years due to a reduction in consumer spending linked to the lower oil price.
Regional retailers have also been made less competitive for tourists in markets like Dubai due to the strength of the US dollar and are being pressured by increasing online sales.