Souq.com bags fashion website
Souq.com, one of the Arab world's most prominent online retailers, has acquired its sister company Sukar.com. Both websites are majority owned by the Jabbar Internet Group, but are now merging their back-office operations following a share-transfer deal. The move is part of a plan to build "the largest e-commerce business in the region," said Ronaldo Mouchawar, the chief executive of Souq.com. Souq.com, established in 2005, claims to be the largest e-commerce site in the Arab world. It has operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and says it is "soon expanding to new markets". It has merged its operations with Sukar.com, a discount shopping club specialising in fashion. Mr Mouchawar told The National that Souq.com acquired Sukar.com through a share-transfer deal. "The acquisition and the merger is to utilise the resources... in one company," he said. "It will help both companies expand faster." Despite merging the back-office operations, the two website domains will remain separate for the time being, Mr Mouchawar said. "We feel keeping Sukar as a separate destination, offering specific fashion-centric products, is the right way to go," he said. Sukar.com offers discounted goods by designer brands such as Burberry, Fendi and Gucci. MarkaVIP, a rival website based on Jordan, works according to a similar model. As The National reported today, MarkaVIP has attracted US$10 million (Dh36.7m) in funding from international investors, following a separate $5 million finance deal completed last year. Other regional online fashion sites include the Dubai-based Namshi.com, which is funded by the Berlin-based internet firm Rocket Internet.