UAE-based National Store, the flagship company of JK Group, has announced its partnership with French smartphone brand Wiko to act as the exclusive distributor for the brand in the UAE.
With regional headquarters in the country, Wiko entered the UAE in October 2014. Through this partnership, National Store will carry out the ground sales and distribution operations for Wiko across all its outlets in the UAE. This will assist the brand in its country-wide expansion as well as in further strengthening its visibility.
“Partnering with Wiko is part of National Store’s future strategy to diversify the business of the company, while creating a strong base in the mobile and IT category. Wiko is a young and fresh brand with ample potential, which will add a strong new category to the company’s portfolio. The brand is already very well presented in the individual retail channel. Therefore, our aim is to further fortify its visibility in this segment and then move into increasing its presence through power retailers,” says Salah Khoory, general manager, National Store – JK Group.
As distributors and retailers, National Store has had a successful run for almost half a century showcasing brands such as Canon, Sandisk, Moser, Crown Line, KZEN and GP Batteries, among others. The company launched an outlet in Khalidyah Mall, Abu Dhabi last year and has further expansion plans in the future.
“Our aim is to reach out to the entire UAE market and be present in every nook and corner of the country. To achieve this, a very strong and professional distribution partner is essential and National Store was a natural choice, as the group has vast experience in mobile sales. They are already into sales and distribution of a mobile brand and also have very strong relations with all the retailers because they have some well-known non-mobile brands too. Wiko came to the UAE with an ambition of achieving 10% of the market share. This ambition continues for us and with the right partnership with National Store, and the right products at the right price, we expect to achieve it very soon,” says Marie Paule Araud, regional director – South & East Africa, Wiko Global.
“Having registered its presence in more than 30 countries across the world within a very short span of time, Wiko entered the top five in Western Europe in 2016. In France, it is in the number two position, one in the open market and is largely successful in other European markets; it has even managed to climb to second position. In 2016, we shipped more than 10 million Wiko handsets globally, with more than 15 million users worldwide,” she adds.
“We believe in maintaining the right balance in the pricing and product mix to avoid major fluctuations in pricing during the product’s life cycle, thus giving stability to both retailers and consumers. In the UAE, Wiko has succeeded to position itself as a challenger brand, which combines the product and service quality of any top brand in this market, and keeps the prices as competitive as smaller brands. It thus manages to hold a distinctive position between the top brands and tier two brands and is seen by customers as a real value for money brand,” says Kashif Siddiqui, Wiko head of sales for the UAE.
“National Store has grown on the concept of value for money, which has won it a trusted consumer base. One of the biggest strengths of National Store is that brands trust us to provide them with the best visibility and positioning. We have courted prestigious names in the past and as always, we are confident that our relationship with Wiko will reap rich dividends and will surpass the targeted 10% market share,” Khoory asserts.
“The year 2016 was significant for us; it saw the launch of our new store in Abu Dhabi and the golden jubilee of our partnership with Canon, a lucrative journey which continues with this new association with Wiko,” says Ateeq Ahmad Shamsi, general manager – operations, National Store LLC.