Malabar Gold & Diamonds announces Dh335 million expansion plans

India-based Malabar Gold & Diamonds, one of the world’s largest gold and diamond jewellery retailers, has announced a major investment amounting Dh335 million (US$91.28 million) in expansion plans of its retail network. The plan will see an addition of 24 stores in three months, from January 2017 to March 2017 period, taking the number of total outlets to 185 by the end of March 2017, up from 161 as of today.
Out of the 24 new outlets, 9 will be in the UAE, 7 in India, 5 in Saudi Arabia, 2 in Bahrain and 1 in Kuwait. Of these, 7 outlets will be opened on January 18, 2017, taking the number of total outlets to 168, including 82 in India and 86 internationally.
The expansion will add more than 1,000 professionals to the group’s existing manpower strength of 9,000 and cross the 10,000 employee mark by March this year.
The move marks a major investment in expansion at a time when many gold and jewellery retailers have struggled to manage their existing operations due to a challenging global economic environment.
Despite the tough market conditions, Malabar Gold & Diamonds has decided to push ahead with expansion, which demonstrates it confidence in the growth of the market in the future.
“This is one of our single largest vertical expansion drives. The expansion at a crucial time reflects our renewed confidence and strong commitment to the Gulf, India and Far East markets,” Mr MP Ahammed, Chairman of Malabar Group, said. “Investment in a downturn market requires courage and strong risk appetite. Our latest expansion demonstrates our long-term vision and a sustainable business development roadmap that we can manage mostly with our own resources.”
“The expansion is aimed at serving more communities and nationalities, especially people from the Philippines, African Arab communities, the Levant as well as the Western countries. The extended network will help us acquire a greater customer base,” he added.
The price of gold has risen in almost every major world economy during 2016, suggesting that the dark days are over and good times are coming back. The gold price is almost 10 per cent higher today than what it had been 12 months ago.
Mr Abdul Salam KP, Group Executive Director of Malabar Group said that consumers were cautious last year. “Retail activities are a reflection of the consumer sentiment. Due to the market conditions, consumers exercised caution. However things are looking brighter as we started the New Year with a lot of positive indications,” he added. The current price of gold jewellery is ideal for buyers, company officials say.
Mr Shamlal Ahamed MP, Managing Director – International Operations of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, said: “Due to the market conditions, consumers on an average purchased less gold. However, although the average ticket size was low, the transaction value remained almost flat – which means the number of customers have grown.”
“Data from our own sales across the network shows that we have acquired more customers last year – who purchased from us for the first time – that compensated for the lower average purchase transaction value,” Mr Shamlal revealed.
“I believe the current market conditions are best suited for buyers as the price of gold is expected to rise. This year, we expect consumers to be less cautious and buy more – a trend that will lift consumption,” he added.
Malabar Gold & Diamonds is the flagship company of Malabar Group, a leading diversified Indian business conglomerate. The group owned by over 1,700 investors was ranked among the top 5 jewellery retailers globally. Established in 1993 in the Indian state of Kerala, Malabar Gold & Diamonds today has a strong retail network of over 161 outlets spread across nine countries.
Malabar Gold & Diamonds had earlier announced donating 5 per cent of its profits in CSR activities aimed at supporting the societies across five key areas: Education, Women Empowerment, Healthcare and Research, Housing and Environment.