Emaar Malls, the retail business arm of Dubai’s Emaar Properties, has fully acquired online fashion retailer Namshi, it announced on Monday.
Emaar – which had the majority stake in Namshi – acquired the remaining stake of Global Fashion Group (GFG) in an all-cash deal worth Dhs475.5m ($129.5m).
The Dubai firm bought a 51 per cent stake in Namshi for $151m in May 2017, with GFG – a company backed by Germany’s Rocket Internet – retaining the 49 per cent stake.
The full acquisition “reinforces the position of Emaar Malls in the rapidly growing online market in the Middle East, complementing its physical retail assets portfolio”, a statement said.
Namshi – founded in 2011 – has an active customer base of 1.2 million and recorded sales Dhs849m ($231.3m) across the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2018, an increase of 16 per cent compared to the previous year.
It features 700 brands includes global names, exclusive in-house labels, sports collaborations, beauty, activewear and kidswear.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties said: “The remarkable growth achieved by Namshi underlines the potential for fashion e-commerce in the region, where, every day, a larger number of people shop online to meet their fashion aspirations.
“With the consolidation of our stake in Namshi, we are highlighting our commitment to position Emaar Malls for growth over the next decade and to create outstanding value for all our shareholders through our omnichannel strategy.”
Dubai businessman Alabbar has invested heavily in the e-commerce space in the last few years.
Noon, the site launched by him in partnership with Saudi investors, announced plans last week to expand to Egypt following its launch in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The GCC’s e-commerce market is forecast to be worth $20bn by 2020, according to an AT Kearney report.
Another report commissioned by Gulf Pinnacle Logistics (GPL) last year found that the the Gulf’s e-commerce industry is growing at a rate of 7.2 per cent per annum and will reach $23.7bn by 2022.