Noon, the Dubai-based ecommerce company is planning to launch in Egypt by the end of Q2 2019, a source with direct knowledge of the matter has told MENAbytes, adding that the company has already hired people in different teams including Logistics, Account Management, HR, Marketing, and is actively poaching talent from local competitors.
The source, without specifying details, also said that the company is in contact with different vendors including some big names to add their products to the platform.
Founded by Emaar’s Chairman Mohamed Alabbar and backed Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, Noon in less than one year since its launch in UAE & Saudi, in spite of few hiccups, has emerged as a serious competitor to Amazon-owned Souq.
The company that is being led by Namshi’s former Managing Director Faraz Khalid has partnered with leading retail players in the region including Sauid-based eXtra and Kuwait’s Alshaya to ‘offer a wide selection of products to its customers’. Noon last year had also announced a partnership with eBay that will allow the customers in Saudi & UAE to shop eBay’s top products directly on Noon and they will take care of fulfillment, delivery and returns.
Egypt’s market will be very important if Noon wants to establish itself as a regional player. The country of almost 100 million people where ecommerce according to some estimates is expected reach $3 billion by 2020 offers a great opportunity for the cash-heavy company. But it obviously comes with a lot of challenges. Even though a big number of people in the country are online, a very small number of them shop online.
Souq and Jumia are currently the two leading players in the market but people are not very happy with the experience they offer. Social media is full of Egyptians complaining about long delivery times, quality of products and fake discounts.
Noon won’t be able to change all of that as they themselves have been on receiving end of similar complaints from customers in UAE & Saudi but will definitely make the ecommerce landscape more competitive.
The company responding to our request for a comment has said, “Since launching operations in the KSA in December 2017, noon has been warmly received by our customers in Saudi Arabia and UAE. As a young local business, noon remains absolutely focused on putting our customers at the center of our strategy, we strive to bring competitive prices, a wide assortment of products and great service to people in our markets.”
“While we cannot currently comment on specific expansion plans, we can say that we are always looking for new opportunities to improve our platform and to reach new customers in the region. We shall be in touch with updates as things develop,” it added.
Update – January 6, 2019 – 10:15 AM GMT: The story was updated with a comment from Noon.