Giordano Fashions LLC plans to expand its operations across Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East-Gulf region with new retail stores. It will be opening five new stores in the Kingdom this year, one each in Makkah, Madinah and Al Khobar, and two in Jeddah. “We will continue to increase our Saudi workforce, which currently stands at 30 per cent, and have signed an agreement with the Human Resources Development Fund for training and placement,” Ishwar Chugani, Executive Director of Giordano Fashions LLC, told Arab News.
In fact, some of Giordano shops are wholly-managed by Saudi Arabian nationals, and more than 50 per cent of Saudi Arabian staff has remained with the company for four to five years. “We have also been offering our stores on a franchise basis and one such franchise is coming up in smaller towns like Baha,” Chugani said.
Chugani added that Giordano has also been encouraging nationals to take up its store projects through Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ), a program of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Services Programs (ALJCSP), which is engaged in creating job opportunities for nationals in different fields and assisting them in setting up their own businesses. The first such Giordano store will be set up soon at the Jeddah International Market on Madinah Road.
“Our effort will be to guide enterprising Saudis set up Giordano stores of their own, restricting our role to supervision and monitoring the operations,” he added.
He said that 2008 was the best for Giordano, with 10 new stores opened in Saudi Arabia at an investment of $20 million. “We thus have 64 stores across the Kingdom, 53 of them our own and 11 franchises,” Chugani said. There has been a 20 per cent increase in Giordano’s sales in 2008 compared to the previous year.