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Wed 30 Mar 2016 01:45 PM

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Dubai's Marka ties up with Souq.com to make online debut

Retail firm announces partnership to offer sportswear products online, plans to introduce fashion later

Dubai's Marka ties up with Souq.com to make online debut
Nick Peel, Markas CEO.

Dubai retail firm Marka has announced a partnership with Souq.com in a move that will see the company offer sportswear and eventually fashion items online.

Nick Peel, Marka's CEO, said its first home-grown e-commerce venture, and expansion into the realm of web retailing was a "landmark occasion for Marka".

He added: "Our short-term objective is to showcase our sports retail offerings on the internet to younger and more web-savvy customers in Saudi Arabia in particular and across the GCC region as a whole.

"Saudi Arabia is an important retail market for us, both commercially and strategically," said Peel. "We are confident that the next generation of consumers there will shop online for sportswear and other items at Souq.com. The first phase of our strategy with Souq.com shall concentrate initially on our sports retail brands and the second stage thereafter will focus more on our fashion labels."

The Souq.com website sells apparel for a wide variety of sports, including basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, football, swimming and tennis and other racquet sports.

Last week, Marka announced that its board had approved an AED250 million ($68 million) bond sale to finance future acquisitions.

It came as the company reported an AED55.9 million ($15.2 million) loss for the period from June 2014 to December 2015, following a buying spree in which it which it snapped up Retailcorp, a unit of Istithmar World; restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi; a majority stake in children’s entertainment group Cheeky Monkeys, and sports memorabilia firm Icons.

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