Retail in Asia


GMG to restructure its corporate strategy

Following its expansion into Asia at the end of 2020 through the acquisition of multi-brand sports retailer Royal Sporting House (RSH), GMG, a UAE-based global well-being retail conglomerate, aims to double its workforce by 2025 as it embarks on a new corporate strategy.

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The strategy includes a restructuring of its existing business units and the unveiling of a new brand identity, reiterating its objective to promote healthier and more active lifestyles through its products and services. The company is currently involved in retailing, distributing and manufacturing a portfolio of leading international and home-grown brands across sport, food and health sectors.

Mohammad A. Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG, has confirmed that its future investments will be focused on improving people’s lives through active living, nutritious food, and good health. The company will reflect these investments in four business verticals: GMG Sports, GMG Food, GMG Health, and GMG Consumer Goods.

“Asia continues to be a retail growth hotspot with huge potential,” noted Baker.

:Following our acquisition of RSH last year, we are already maximising our economies of scale and creating new value for our customers locally through a network of over 140 stores and 900 employees. The acquisition enabled us to expand the reach of our Sports vertical in important strategic markets in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore,” continued Baker.

A recent report from Bain & Company suggests that Asia-Pacific is propelling the global retail industry, generating about three-quarters of global growth while also offering the world a window to the future of retail. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of eCommerce in Southeast Asia, growing 85 percent year-on-year as of August 2021.

Furthermore, digital spending per person has increased by 60 percent compared to last year, with overall e-commerce sales set to double by 2026.

“While brick-and-mortar outlets will be the mainstay of our business for the foreseeable future, our eCommerce sales have grown considerably. Currently, we offer a robust eCommerce service for Royal Sporting House in Singapore, but in the future, we have plans to extend this offering to Malaysia by next year and the rest of the SEA market by 2023,” added Baker

GMG’s announcement comes at a time when the size of the global wellness market—considered a subset of the wider “well-being” concept—has expanded considerably in recent years.

McKinsey & Company has estimated the global wellness market at more than US$1.5 trillion with annual growth of five to 10 percent as consumers view wellness across dimensions such as better health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, and more. Experts also cite the increasing prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases as driving the growth of the global wellness market.

The company has a diverse portfolio of brands across these sectors and has introduced more than 120 brands into its markets over the last four decades. As a dominant player in the sports retail category, this has included representing international brands such as Nike, Vans, The North Face, Columbia, and many more. In the food sector, the company is both a food manufacturer under GMG Food, and a distributor for popular food brands such as McCain, Mama Sita’s and Shan under its GMG Consumer Goods vertical.

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The company has also created many successful home-grown concepts, including Sun & Sand Sports—now the Middle East’s largest sports retailer–as well as Supercare pharmacies, the Farm Fresh food brand, and others.

GMG currently employs around 7,000 people in 12 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.