Dubai: Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is extending its reach into Abu Dhabi for a more sweeping retail presence across the emirate, a top executive at the company said.
Abdul Hamid Seddiqi, vice-chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, and chairman of Al Manara International Jewellery, told Gulf News that the first phase of the retail expansion is already under way.
“We have opened three new shops in Abu Dhabi in mid-July, and the branches in Khalidiya and Abu Dhabi Mall have been closed for renovation until the end of the year. Within the same time frame, we will open a second branch in Al Ain Mall and another one in 2013 at Sowwah Square in the Abu Dhabi Financial Centre,” said Seddiqi.
The move follows the acquisition earlier this year of Al Manara International Jewellery, a luxury retailer that is being absorbed into the Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons family.
However, Seddiqi said that customers in Abu Dhabi will ultimately reap the benefits of the acquisition as they will get, “better prices, better services, more collections and a new sales environment”.
Established in 1973, Al Manara Jewellery operates a range of renowned brands, including Patek Philippe, Chopard, Harry Winston, Piaget and Tag Heuer. After almost 40 years, the luxury brand will soon be re-branded and re-launched in the market, and its new logo is expected to be unveiled to the public some time after Ramadan.
“The branches of Al Manara will be maintained as a separate boutique but one that operates under our management. We will change the whole concept of its branding and logo, and the interior of the boutiques will be very chic and classy,” said Seddiqi.
As part of Seddiqi’s goal in bringing a bigger share to Abu Dhabi, recently it opened a shop in Marina Mall and its efforts will be concentrated on providing a high standard of after-sale service to all its retailers.
“The after-sale service in Abu Dhabi will be the same as in Dubai and a workshop will be [built] there to repair watches, although it won’t be as large as the one along Shaikh Zayed Road that has 45 employees,” he noted.
Targeting tourists has been as important for the family-owned Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons establishment as it is to focus on residents, who both influence the company’s decision in its marketing strategies and new retail locations.
“We will open a branch in St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi and in Emirates Palace by the end of 2012. We cater to tourists and residents alike because each demographic in the group tends to shop for a particular type of brand,” Seddiqi said, pointing out that its retailers has received 50 to 60 different nationalities of customers per month for the past ten years.