1979 and the 80s
Seeing the potential of Qatar as a market for international sports brands, Mr. Jaber Al Mussallem, established Sports Corner’s first store in the Clock roundabout in Doha.
Sports Corner had a modest beginning, with only around 10 employees in its head office in Old Salata & a warehouse in Najma. The office only had a telex and used two small pickup trucks for deliveries and staff use. However, the team believed that great things usually start from small beginnings.
The belief proved providential as two years later, due to the success of the first Sports Corner store, a second store was put up in Aljedah.
In 1994, owing to its popularity and growing influence, Sports Corner started taking a more active part in sports development. It became a sponsor for the 1994 Qatar Open. The tennis tournament was the company’s first sponsorship.
In 1995, Sports Corner added two well-known international brands to its growing product line. Adidas, which was the number one sports brand in 1995, officially partnered with Sports Corner. Lotto, a prestigious Italian brand, also followed suit. Later on, Sports Corner would add more international brands to its already growing list of products offered in Qatar.
As it continues to grow and become one of the most recognizable and trusted brands in Qatar, Sports Corner starts to streamline its operations by computerization. The company employs POS systems under SCO-Unix, a tailor made software, for the inventory and retail.
In 1996, Sports Corner launched its fourth store, a showroom in Al Markhiya.
A year after, Sports Corner established another milestone. Seeing a great opportunity, Sports Corner put up a store in The Mall—the first mall to be built in Qatar. It was as historic as it could get—the first ever sports retail store inside the first ever mall. However, competitors would take notice of Sports Corner’s success. The store encountered a lot of competition during its early years in the historic mall, but eventually outlasted them all.
Further establishing Sports Corner’s supremacy in the sports retail market.
The new millennium was source of uncertainty for most people, but not for Sports Corner. The company viewed “Y2K” not with fear, but with excitement—as another opportunity to welcome another year of milestones.
Sports Corner opened a showroom in City Centre Mall. Due to the success of the store, Sports Corner followed it up with an Adidas Showroom, a franchise, in the same mall. On the same year, an Adidas showroom and a Sports Corner store were also built in Landmark Mall.
In 2004, Sports Corner also continued its computerization by implementing the Tally accounting software.
Qatar opened its doors to Asia’s best athletes and the world’s attention as it hosted the 2006 Asian Games. The event was a success and further fueled Qatar’s drive to transform the country into the world’s sports hub.
A Sports Day was also declared. As sports took center stage, Sports Corner was also placed in the proverbial spotlight. Sports Corner shone brightly, showing Asia and the rest of the world why it was the best sports retail company in Qatar.
The exposure increased the company’s core business and provided more interest to the brand.
In 2013, Sports Corner, owing to its rapid growth, decided to move to its new head office in Al Gassar Tower in West Bay, Doha. Sports Corner divisions’ occupied spaces in the 3rd floor and the 20th floor. In spite of the change in venue, operations ran smoothly and Sports Corner continued to dominate the market. In a market survey, Sports Corner owned an overwhelming 70 percent market share in Qatar.
In 2014, in line with the changing times, Sports Corner underwent a makeover. A new logo and concept was introduced. The new identity emphasizes redefinition, with Sports Corner redefining its commitment to customers to not just provide quality products but promote sports to help them transform their lives for the better. Sports Corner also emphasized values of dynamism, honesty, professional ethics, respectfulness and being proud of its heritage.
Today, Sports Corner has around 400 employees and almost 20 stores, and continues to grow. It boasts of new concept stores in Salwa Road and The Mall. And actively sponsors events like the Ooredoo Marathon, Evolution Sports Qatar Academy, and events by the Al Khor Community and Aspire Academy.
Sports Corner continues to redefine itself by launching its mobile application, available in Android and iOS. It also has an active e-commerce store in Sportscorner.me. It plays an active role in social media, through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well.
The Blue Group was formally introduced. Composed of five major divisions, the Blue Group takes the expertise gained from decades of managing a sports retail shop and uses it to lead five major market industries—food, sports, retail, service and fashion.
The Blue group’s deeply rooted presence in the sports retail market in Qatar is spearheaded by Sports Corner. With 17 stores nationwide, and continuously growing, Sports Corner is a trusted name when it comes to sports and lifestyle merchandise.
Sports Corner has a large portfolio of international brands like Nike, Reebok, Lotto, Diadora, Speedo and Under Armour under its name. The brands provide a distinct flavor for customers from all walks of life.
Qatar has become a melting pot of cultures, as well as their specific culinary heritage. As Qatar opens its doors to other cuisine, food and beverage franchises, and restaurant startups. The Blue Group decided to fill the need for a brand which will help food entrepreneurs build their dreams. Hence, fork and knife was born.
Fork and knife is the centerpiece of the Blue Group’s Food Division. It facilitates the development of fast food concepts and privately-owned restaurants.
The Blue Group recognizes that service has taken a different direction in the last decade. Service has gone online. A strong online presence, in the form of service and marketing, has become one of the deciding factors of success of a business.
Blue Synergy Solution, or BSS, is a digital marketing solutions company that has provided effective websites, online marketing campaigns and strategies, social media marketing and mobile app development, among others, to numerous clients.
Laura Ashley, established in 1953, one of Europe’s most trusted brands in terms of furniture and home furnishings is the centerpiece of Blue Group’s retail Division. Known for its stylish designs, which can range from classic, modern to innovative, Laura Ashley epitomizes the Blue Group’s thrust of catering to the present while preparing for the future.
It is a visionary. Evolving from a company which sells dresses and scarves, to a company which has a wide array of furnishings and novel furniture.
Design Hub showcases the passion for design and style through beautiful and amazing collections from promising designers.
Designs are savoir faire. Produced by the most talented and promising local designers, Design Hub creations are based on the rich heritage of Qatar.
A culmination and reflection of Qatari feeling and vision. Each amazing piece is an intimate look at Qatar culture, and how it is interpreted by the country’s top and young designers.