Noon is likely to enter the grocery delivery market over the course of the next six months, according to founder Mohamed Alabbar.
In an interview with CNN’s John Defterios, Alabbar said that Noon is currently working on finding a provider to help facilitate its entry into the grocery sector.
“I think we should look at six months from now for us to start the business...we’re talking to a few [providers],” he said. “I think within the coming six months we should be final. Either that or we buy somebody, simple as that.”
Additionally, Alabbar said he believes that Noon should expand into other Middle Eastern markets.
“I think we should not be very shy even to look a little bit east,” he said. “We should really look at Pakistan and countries like that, because they’ve got 180, 190 population out there. And I think if you were to go to North Africa, the same thing, the base is quite good in that area as well.”
In a separate announcement on Thursday, Noon announced that it was launching two new entities in China to kick start its operations in Asia.
In a statement, Noon said that a dedicated team had been working on the ground in China to meet local brand owners and cultivate business relationships, and that a permanent office will be opened in China “soon”.
“China’s booming e-commerce market has one of the most active marketplaces in the world,” Alabbar said. “Noon is fully embracing the opportunity to work closely with leading Chinese manufacturers to bring a high quality, value driven assortment to the region.”
Alabbar added that Noon “is also looking to partner with top brand owners and marketplace platforms to help us curate a wider and more diverse assortment or products for our customers in the Middle East.”
Additionally, Noon said it was working with “a leading financial services company” to guarantee efficient payment solutions to Chinese sellers, without giving any further details.
In June, Noon – which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a group of Gulf investors – announced a new partnership with eBay that will give customers in the region the opportunity to buy products from the US and other parts of the globe.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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