Back in March, at the beginning of the pandemic, Mukatafa worked very closely with the public and private sectors to recommend support from the government to best manage the impacts of COVID on the economy. But even with collaboration across all sectors, no one was accurately able to predict or estimate how much support would be needed and what kind of support would be best.
Jarir Marketing Company (also popularly known as “Jarir Bookstore” or “Jarir”) was established in Riyadh in 1974 as a small bookshop by Abdulrahman Nasser Al-Agil. In its early years, the bookstore dealt in used books and art sold by ex-pats living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Since the company has seen exponential growth and is now one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Saudi Arabia. In 2018, it was listed in the “Top 100 Listed Companies” in the Arab World by Forbes.
This is the first time we are seeing a report from any private company that quantifies the support they received. And, leading as always, Jarir has given us that report:
According to the company’s chairman, Jarir Marketing Co. [4190.SE] received a total of SAR15mn from the government’s SANED program and the possibility of giving employees unpaid leaves. The company also saved SAR8.5mn from SAMA’s support related to pay fees of PoS and e-commerce platforms for a period of three months, which was extended for three more months afterward. The company then delayed SAR62mn and saved SAR300k from borrowing costs from the initiative to postpone the payment of VAT and zakat/taxes for three months, helping it manage cash flows. Additionally, the company benefitted from the initiative to extend the residency visa for ex-pat employees for three months at no cost to the business owner and the initiative to pay electricity bills in installments, according to Argaam.
Again, this is the first time, we are seeing this kind of report with a reflection of quantified aid from the pandemic. The transparency that Jarir exudes will only help foster further research for reports in the future.