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UAE's Sedar eyes adding 150 outlets, recruiting 700 staff

By Waheed Abbas

The UAE-based home décor firm Sedar is looking to expand by opening an additional 130 outlets worldwide, mainly through franchise and also creating around 700 jobs by doubling the number of outlets in the region.

“We are looking at doubling the number of stores to 40 in the next three years mainly in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Our plan is to reach 150 stores in five years worldwide,” said Anwar Selo, Director of Franchise Operations at Sedar.

The company currently has 18 outlets in the region including six in Saudi Arabia, nine in the UAE, and one each in Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. It employs about 2,000 employees – including its manufacturing facility, warehouse and retail outlets.

“On an average, every outlet requires about 100-150 people, depending on the size of the store. With plans to open four to five outlets in GCC in the next two to three years, we’re looking at 600-700 people at least because you have to think of sales, service, management and production teams because each outlet has an autonomous logistics, sales and internal management team and that would also reflect on us to add more people to manufacturing and warehousing teams,” he added.

“We are not going to franchising in GCC, any operations we do will be our own operations,” Selo said, adding that he sees good growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia where the company has not been able to fully tap the potential.

“We have not been able to fully tap Saudi Arabia because of certain logistical problem. We have central manufacturing location here in the UAE and to reach KSA would take few days, so end-users will be quite unhappy waiting for such a long time and we are known for extremely fast service. We are thinking in some way to operate in KSA and that will help us open more stores there,” he added.

“Keeping the UAE business identity, we could also look at setting up a satellite manufacturing facility in KSA which would allow be less expensive in transportation and deliver better overall quality,” Selo revealed.

In its bid to grow horizontally, Sedar aims to expand beyond Mena region through franchise with a target of 150 outlets over the next five years.

“We have already franchised in four countries – Egypt, Jordan, Algeria and Tunisia – and looking at three or four more countries. We are now going through market studies before entering those markets. By end-2016, we hope to have franchise operating in the US, Canada, East Asia and Indian Subcontinent,” said Selo.

Entry into Europe will be in the next the stage of the expansion drive, he added.