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VF Corp to boost presence across Middle East, Africa, South East Asia

US apparel conglomerate VF Corporation has partnered with global retail conglomerate GMG to set up over 300 stores for its brands in the Middle East and North Africa and Southeast Asia over the next five years.

GMG will spearhead the expansion of VF Corp’s brands, including Vans, The North Face and Timberland through a growing network of mono-brand partner stores to reach a broader consumer base.

Currently operating 90 VF Corp mono-brand stores in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South East Asia (SEA), GMG plans to roll out over 300 stores between 2024 and 2029.

The expansion strategy includes the introduction of VF Corp’s brands into key South East Asian markets, the establishment of mono-brand stores, and boosting the ecommerce business for selected VF brands.

The expansion in the MENA region will focus predominantly on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

VF Corp is also set to expand its presence in North Africa with a focus on Egypt and The North Face brand entering the North African market for the first time.

GMG’s deputy chairman and CEO Mohammad A. Baker commented: “Continuing our strategic expansion and adding new markets across SEA signifies a pivotal chapter in our successful longstanding partnership with VF Corporation. Aligned with our shared vision, commitment to exceptional consumer experiences, and the empowerment of active lifestyles, we anticipate continued achievements on this transformative journey together.”

The organisations explained the global retail market is projected to reach $37.7bn by 2027 from $28.3bn in 2023, and added the MENA region is seeing steady growth due to a growing population, strong spending power and an increasing affinity for high-quality international brands.

SEA’s retail industry is also expected to see a new phase of growth, driven by rising disposable incomes, infrastructural developments, favourable business environments and a surge in tourism.

Baker pointed out GHG’s projections align with the growth potential of the SEA market, citing an expanding labour force, rising household incomes, and a growing consumer base.

He noted: “Further, consumers’ increased focus on their health has prompted many individuals to put effort into leading healthier lives. As a result, athletic wear has risen in popularity, turning the region into a sports goods retail powerhouse with significant opportunities for businesses seeking to capitalise on its potential.”

VF Corporation executive vice president, global chief commercial officer and president of emerging brands Martino Scabbia Guerrini said: “The enhanced partnership will contribute to driving our brand’s regional marketplace strategies, deliver innovative solutions that elevate our go-to-market approach, and strengthen our presence in the region, allowing us to better serve local consumers’ needs”.

GHG’s partnership with VF Corporation started in 2012 with the Timberland brand in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It has since evolved to include Vans, The North Face, and Timberland presence in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and South East Asia with 90 mono-brand stores.


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