UK's Sainsbury's picks National Bank of Oman for Middle East operations

Retail giant setting up operations hub in Sultanate to access 1.4bln consumers

A person walks past a Sainsbury's store in Milton Keynes, Britain November 5, 2020.

A person walks past a Sainsbury's store in Milton Keynes, Britain November 5, 2020.

REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

The National Bank of Oman (NBO) has been chosen as the onshore banking partner for the distribution arm of UK’s retail giant Sainsbury’s, which is preparing to launch thousands of products in the Middle East and Africa region.

International Distribution Network SPC is establishing a new operations hub in Oman’s Sohar Port, in a move to gain access to huge retail markets in the region, including Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The Middle East and Africa region is home to nearly 1.4 billion consumers.

According to Shahid Rafique K, director for sales and operations at International Distribution Network, the partnership with NBO will help the UK firm capitalise on Oman’s “geographical advantages”.

“We are delighted to have chosen NBO as our onshore banking partner and are confident that the collaboration will help us capitalise on the geographical advantages that Oman offers, as well as its rapidly developing transport and logistics infrastructure, as we seek to grow our presence in the wider region,” Rafique said.

The UK’s largest, Sainsbury’s is a multi-brand, multi-channel retailer with more than 1,400 stores throughout the country.

The company’s foray into the region was announced earlier in July by Sohar Port and Freezone.

“From this hub, the International Distribution Network plans to supply and reach Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan, besides Oman,” a statement said.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2020

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