Yoox Net-a-Porter and Symphony’s New Middle-East Venture

    On Monday, Yoox Net-a-Porter announced a joint partnership with Symphony Investments, an entity chaired by Mohamed Alabbar of the aforementioned Alabbar Enterprises, in a bid to create a major new platform for online luxury retail for the Middle East. Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) will hold a 60 percent stake in the joint venture, while Symphony Investments will own the remaining 40 percent.

    The joint venture will be headquartered in Dubai, and will serve the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, with a view to expand to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the future. It will also oversee all of Yoox Net-a-Porter’s online multibrand stores — Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter, Yoox and The Outnet — in the Middle East. A few of the “online flagship stores” Yoox Net-a-Porter powers for individual brands like Alexander Wang, Chloe and Diesel that are seen as having “significant business potential” in the Middle East will also be involved. Together, the venture hopes to become the region’s “go-to online destination for luxury retail.”

    The Dubai office, set to open in late 2017, will boast dedicated sales, PR and marketing teams, as well as Arabic-language customer care and editorial content, while a new distribution centre in Dubai will be powered by Yoox Net-a-Porter’s techno-logistics platform, allowing for services such as same-day delivery.

    “The Middle East is one of the fastest growing global centres for luxury retail. The region also has a significant population of over 200 million young people who are tech-savvy and influence luxury retail decisions,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Symphony Investments, in a statement.

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