Digitally-driven era 'needs new approach' to retail

Digitally-driven era needs new approach to retail
Mohammad A Baker, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GMG. - Supplied photo

Dubai - Digitally-savvy consumers today are as interested in shopping online as they are in visiting shopping malls.



by

Issac John

Published: Tue 8 Oct 2019, 10:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 9 Oct 2019, 12:11 AM

Gulf Marketing Group (GMG), a diversified family-owned business, is set to implement a spate of experiential initiatives across healthcare, education, nutrition, entertainment, sports and real estate sectors to drive long-term brand and customer loyalty, the group's top executive said.
With retail being one of the group's longest standing verticals, it will be a key focus area for the experiential initiatives, says Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GMG Mohammad A Baker.
Mohammad, who was bestowed with the prestigious "Retail CEO of the Year" award recently, believes that since the retail landscape is changing, GMG needs to diversify its retail model.
He argues that consumers of today are very different from how they were even just a few years ago. "A digitally-driven society needs a new approach to retail, and this is something that we are taking into consideration for the future of GMG. We are consciously working to incorporate more technology, automation, and data throughout the company, particularly when it comes to decision-making," says Mohammad, who has a passion for driving change and progress in sports, health and innovation in the UAE.
Crucial to the GMG success in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of the Board has been Baker's combined passion for the business and ability to think strategically, enabling him to drive change and progress in line with his vision.
"Data in particular is one of our most valuable assets for optimising business growth," he said, adding "Digitally-savvy consumers today are as interested in shopping online as they are in visiting shopping malls."
"So we are diversifying our retail model by adopting an omni-channel approach that will see GMG brands increasingly available through e-commerce platforms, which we are rolling out to complement the expansion of our physical outlets across the GCC," said Mohammad.
Armed with a new strategic vision, Mohammad also seeks to reengineer every detail of the business - from its management, to its products and services. To meet this goal, the group has set up an Innovation Division to ensure it would always be at the leading edge of commerce in the region.
GMG's portfolio features powerhouse brands such as Nike, Colombia, Timberland and Vans. As well as being a trusted partner of global brands, GMG has applied its own expertise to creating homegrown concepts such as Sun & Sand Sports, which is today the top sports retailer in the Gulf region. GMG prestigious portfolio of world class brands serve as anchor tenants in major shopping malls across the GCC.
Baker, who serves as a board member of the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre for children with special needs, believes that it is not only retail habits that GMG has to cater to, but consumer preferences in terms of brands and needs, too.
"Cycling and basketball are growing in popularity, so we have introduced new specialist concepts to our sports retail division, and DropKick, our new athleisure concept for active Gen Z consumers. This is what the future of GMG looks like - constantly evolving to better meet consumer needs while remaining a sustainable business with robust growth," he said.
Mohammad believes that the group's core values of transparency and commitment to long-term partnerships has seen it deliver strong returns on investment, becoming one of the most trusted businesses partners of leading global retailers in the region.
"Governed by a legacy of over 40 years, GMG, which has been redefining the business landscape by delivering impactful experiences for consumers, will continue to explore new growth opportunities while remaining committed to quality, innovation and differentiation in service," said Mohammad.
- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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