The Creation Of Sama Department Store

Hussain Almuflahi
Hussain Almuflahi
Founder | C.E.O.


Hussain was born into a family of entrepreneurs. His grandparents had opened a small general store in their hometown in Yemen, and his parents had continued the tradition by opening several retail stores throughout New York City, soon after moving to the states. Hussain was always fascinated by the business and loved to help out in the stores whenever he could. When he was old enough, he decided to pursue a career in retail himself.


He enrolled in college and studied economics and business administration. After graduating, he started working in one of his parents' retail stores. However, he soon realized that the traditional retail model wasn't going to last in today's digital age. How can we keep up with increasing rent, product prices, and payrolls? and more importantly, how do we expand?”. He began researching ways to improve the company he was assigned. Hussian came up with multiple plans, but unfortunately, the majority of his family rejected his proposals. Realizing, he had to prove his big ideas, Hussain went to work. 


With some saved up money and investment from his parents, cousins, and friends, Hussain opened, what he called a neighborhood specialized department store” which he branded SAMA. Soon after opening his first SAMA Department Store, Hussain knew, he had something special. The store quickly became a success, so he opened another SAMA Department Store4 months later in New York City. Hussain had worked in the retail business for many years, and he was successful at it. But he knew that he must expand and adapt in today's world if he wants longevity. Thanks to his obsession on creating an online brand, he was able to create an e-commerce store for his department stores. Hussain's online store offers a wide variety of products at competitive prices. 

We asked, what does "SAMA" mean, he replied "it means sky in Arabic. I named it in reference to the old saying, sky is the limit." We also asked tough questions like, what will you do to combat your competition, the likes of Target, Amazon, and Walmart?  

Competition is good. without it, we will never improve. Jeff Bezos told me, and other business minded individuals, that our focus should mainly be on our customers and products. Here’s an example, we have a clipboard for our customers most asked products list. Last month was curtain panels, size 63”Long, for smaller windows, and some area rugs. And that’s what we added. As well as improving our website, that means, making sure it is easy to navigate around and find what they are looking for.


Hussain was able to grow his hybrid retail and e-commerce idea into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. 


Today, he is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs from Yemen. Thanks to his innovative thinking, hard work and dedication, he has been able to take his business idea into the 21st century.


Article & Interview by: Rahanul Patwary — July 10, 2022

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