Alhokair brings Public Desire to Saudi retail market, expanding brick-and-mortar retail operations with first-ever store in the Kingdom

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. (“Alhokair”), the leading franchise retailer in Saudi Arabia, has announced the opening of Public Desire’s very first store at Riyadh’s most innovative shopping destination, Al-Nakheel Mall. The store opening kicks off Public Desire’s retail expansion globally and follows Alhokair’s exclusive master franchise for the global e-commerce footwear business.
Bringing the Kingdom’s value-seeking consumers an affordable and on-trend women’s footwear brand, Public Desire will be launching the first omnichannel store for the segment in Saudi Arabia, with integrated experiences including in-store virtual footwear try-ons. The new store opening accelerates Alhokair’s transition to an omnichannel model, bolstering its leadership position in a retail sector that is underpinned by a growing fashion-savvy and lifestyle-driven demographic. Having built a disruptive online offering since 2014, Public Desire is a welcome addition to Alhokair’s burgeoning portfolio of brands.
“With a track record of more than 30 years, Alhokair understands first-hand the value that experiential retail brings to both a brand and local consumers. Driven by a commitment to our omnichannel strategy, we are pleased to have partnered with Public Desire as the e-commerce leader expands its physical footprint for the first time. With a customer-centric approach and a stylish footwear brand that breathes new life into the local fashion sector, we are confident Public Desire’s store opening will strengthen the brand’s direct-to-consumer operations, particularly as local shoppers continue to be drawn to in-store product discovery and experiences,” said Marwan Moukarzel, Chief Executive Officer of Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co.
At the heart of Public Desire’s vision is to create a fashion-forward and affordable experience. The footwear retailer offers a variety of must-have products for women, with the new store set to feature a curated selection across multiple categories, the new store will feature exclusive collections that are made to fit the needs of the Saudi customer base.
Qasim Akhlaq, Chief Executive Officer of Public Desire, said: The new store marks our first-ever expansion into brick-and-mortar operations. Having achieved a steep growth curve with an incredibly powerful online presence, we are excited to embark on this omnichannel venture with Alhokair, in their capacity as the leading player in the retail sector. Alhokair have exciting plans for building a lifestyle retail experience in the Kingdom, and we are confident that Public Desire will breathe fresh impetus into the Company’s diverse portfolio of brands.”
The Public Desire store opening comes at an important time as Alhokair builds a competitive lifestyle retail proposition, with the retailer having recently joined forces with Arabian Centres Company to acquire a combined 51 percent stake in Vogacloset, a leading e-commerce player in the Middle East fashion retail space.
Founded in 1990, Alhokair is driven by a commitment to innovation, diversification, and customer-centric operations, breaking down boundaries one brand franchise at a time. The retailer operates 1728 stores across 100 shopping malls in 12 countries. With a gross leasable area of more than 530,000 square meters, a workforce of 10,000 and a portfolio of 90+ top international brands, Alhokair is a pioneer in the retail franchising industry.