The eyewa founders are taking an Amazon approach to expanding their presence, online and offline. Pictured here from left are Anass Boumediene, Mehdi Oudghiri and Abdullah Al Rugaib. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One UAE ecommerce portal is taking the Amazon route – but in the opposite direction.

The online eyewear retailer eyewa has opened its first physical store in the UAE, at the City Centre Mirdif in Dubai, and plans to extend the store network to 100 stores across the region in two years. The retailer currently has another four stores in Saudi Arabia and with six more to open within the next month. (The first Saudi store opened December 2020.)

Amazon has in the US and elsewhere been opening book- and fresh produce stores even as it continues its domination of the e-tailing landscape.

For eyewa, founded in 2017, it has built up a fair degree of visibility in the online space. These have been backed by several funding rounds, with a Series B in June netting $21 million.

Anass Boumediene, co-founder of eyewa, comments, “This is just the start of our ambitious expansion plans, and we look forward to opening many more stores in the future. We truly believe in the power of omnichannel, and we are committed to fast track our physical store presence quicker than any other retailer has done in recent years.”