Emaar Properties Chairman Alabbar Gets Into Online Fashion Retail

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Yoox  Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP), a leading online luxury fashion retailer in the world, has announced a joint venture with Symphony Investments, an entity controlled by Mohamed Alabbar, to launch SIVVI.com. Both the companies plan to create “the Middle East’s undisputed leader for online luxury retail.” The partnership will see Mohamed Alabbar focus his entire online luxury retail activity in the region exclusively through the new joint venture.

YNAP will hold a 60% stake in the joint venture, which will be fully consolidated in YNAP’s accounts, while Symphony Investments will own the remaining 40%. The JV will manage all of the Group’s existing multi-brand online stores in the region – Net-A-Porter, Mr Porter, Yoox, and The Outnet – as well as, in agreement with the brands, select existing and future Online Flagship Stores “Powered by YNAP” that have significant business potential in the Middle East.

The new company will operate in the GCC countries and the JV may expand to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the future. To provide Middle Eastern luxury customers with a fully localised offer, the JV will establish on-the-ground operations, which will allow YNAP to capture the region’s significant growth potential.

Through this JV, the companies plan to establish a Dubai-based entity to bring the company closer to its customers. A local office with dedicated sales and marketing, customer care and PR teams will also be appointed to provide Middle Eastern customers with a highly tailored offering.

The companies will also open a new distribution centre in Dubai powered by YNAP’s omni-stock techno-logistics platform to guarantee the highest level of service, including premier same-day delivery. In addition, the companies will also develop a localised offering ranging from Arabic-language customer care and content, as well as local currency and payment methods.

The JV will open the local office and distribution centre in Dubai by end of 2017. YOOX and THE OUTNET will debut in 2018, while NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER will launch in 2019, followed by select Online Flagship Stores. “The Middle East is one of the fastest growing global centres for luxury retail. The region also has a significant population of over 200 million young people who are tech-savvy and influence luxury retail decisions. With this joint venture to be based in Dubai, a global business & leisure hub, we are pioneering a never-before online luxury retail experience that integrates luxury with techno-logistics. It will redefine the retail sector, and create a brand-new way to access the world’s high-end brands brought by YNAP. A ground-breaking initiative, the JV will serve as go-to online destination for luxury retail and set new industry benchmarks in customer service, speed of delivery and diversity of choice,” said Mohamed Alabbar, the Chairman of Symphony Investments.

This partnership will combine the unique experience and expertise of both parties. YNAP will contribute its burgeoning business in the region, as well as its strong existing brand recognition and a high-value customer base. It will also provide long-standing expertise as one of the world’s leading online luxury retailers, plus a world-class techno-logistics platform that is tailored to luxury fashion. Symphony Investments will bring its unique experience of luxury retail in the Middle East along with its unmatched knowledge of luxury consumer trends and its extensive network in the region.

“We are thrilled by the potential of the Middle East market: combining YNAP and Mohamed Alabbar’s strengths, we look forward to giving shoppers in the region access to a fantastic luxury assortment with our unparalleled service and content. We were delighted to welcome Mohamed Alabbar as a strategic investor earlier this year and together we are now embarking on a major expansion in the region,” said Federico Marchetti, Chief Executive Officer of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP.

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