28/09/2017 07:20 AST

Saudi Vision 2030 will drive the Kingdom’s retail market to a record-high of $142 billion by 2021, industry experts announced today (September 27) at the Saudi Consumer Forum by digital transformation enabler SAP.

Thanks to an increasingly globally-minded and brand-savvy local population and tourists, the Kingdom is the GCC’s fastest-growing retail market, growing 28 per cent to reach $142 billion by 2021, according to Alpen Capital. As a result, research firm AT Kearney says the Kingdom has the third-highest retail potential among emerging markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“Saudi retailers and consumer brands going online is not enough. SAP is committed to driving the co-innovation partnerships that can enable organization-wide and employee-led digital transformation to support Saudi Vision 2030 economic diversification goals. A real-time digital core can deliver new levels of omni-channel customer engagement, talent development, and innovative new products and services,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, managing director, SAP Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen.

Showing the strong need for digital skills in the workplace, since 2014, employers in the Kingdom have been posting double- and triple-digit growth for analytics, cloud, mobility, and social media skills, according to the Oxford Economics report “Workforce 2020”.

During the Forum, SAP showcased how cloud solutions on the SAP HANA in-memory platform, SAP S/4HANA real-time business suite, and SAP Leonardo digital innovation system can help brands to anticipate, plan, and manage consumer demand. SAP solutions can also inter-connect with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, and the Internet of Things.

In the Middle East, SAP co-innovates with leading retail and consumer brands – including Saudi engineering and construction firm alfanar, Edita Food Industries, and Souq.com.

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