While parent company Emaar Malls recently reported a 24.8 percent fall in revenues for 2020 to AED3.51 billion ($960 million), Namshi saw sales increase 28 percent to AED1.316 billion over the same period, with the Kingdom its biggest market.
“Saudi Arabia typically contributes to over 70 percent of the total Namshi revenue,” a spokesperson said, adding that Saudi sales rose 50 percent last year.
Founded in 2011, Namshi – which means, moving forward – offers online fashion and beauty products. It sells more than 800 brands and has customers throughout the GCC in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain.
Emaar Malls, the retail arm of Dubai Emaar Properties, bought a 51 percent stake in Namshi in May 2017, for a reported $151 million. In February 2019 it purchased the remaining 49 percent from Germany’s Rocket Internet.
In a bid to benefit from its success in Saudi Arabia, the e-commerce site is expanding its physical presence in the Kingdom.
“We have been present with a local warehouse in Riyadh for over a year, and we are now moving into a dedicated, state-of-the-art warehouse in Riyadh. We are extremely bullish on Saudi Arabia and are making the investments necessary,” the spokesperson said.
Hadi Badri, chairman of Namshi, told Arab News: “Namshi’s business strategy is Saudi-first. The Kingdom is our key market, and we have a strong and improving market share and customer loyalty. The Saudi e-commerce market is attractive and local consumers are trend setters.
“Namshi is committed to continue on its growth path in Saudi by offering online shoppers the most in-demand global and local brands in fashion, beauty, and gifts, and delivering a best-in-class customer experience,” he said.
Speaking at the Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit 2020 in Riyadh in February last year, Cyrille Fabre, partner at Bain and Co., said the e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa had grown 29 percent from approximately $8.5 billion in 2017 to $14.3 billion in 2019.
“Saudi Arabia is booming in terms of e-commerce and is the No. 1 market in the region in terms of growth and size,” he added.
Saudi trade minister, Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, said: “E-commerce in the Kingdom has grown significantly. We have more than SR80 billion in services and products and 45,000 shops and e-commerce platforms.”
Namshi has also announced it is expanding into Qatar and has already begun accepting pre-orders.