As UAE-based LuLu and Majid Al Futtaim and Qatar-based Al Meera discuss their expansion plans for 2019 and into the short term, we round up news from the region.
LuLu sets out expansion plans…
UAE-based LuLu is aiming to open 32 hypermarkets in 2019. The retailer has said it is looking to expand in GCC countries, where it aims to add 29, including 12 in the UAE, in addition to the 87 it currently operates, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia. The importance of the countries where it is aiming to expand is underlined by LuLu saying that out of its AED25.7bn (US$7.0bn) in revenue, 60% was generated in the UAE, 10% in Saudi Arabia and 5% in India.
In Saudi Arabia LuLu has signed an agreement with the Saudi Arabian National Guard covering two shopping centres and seven supermarkets in Dammam and Al Ahsa, while to support its expansion it has said it will open a 1,000,000 sq. ft logistics centre in the King Abdulla Economic City. In Egypt it has said it will open four new hypermarkets, with two to be opened in 2019, while it will look to operate nine by the end of 2020.
Finally, the retailer said it was looking to expand strongly in India through the addition of shopping centres and hypermarkets in the cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram and Vishakhapatnam. The new stores will add to its existing presence in Kochi.
…As Majid Al Futtaim looks to grow too
In an interview, MAF Carrefour’s country manager for Kenya and Uganda, Franck Moreau, has said the retailer is looking to grow its presence in Kenya and across the wider eastern and southern Africa region. Moreau said MAF plans to enter as many as five countries in the next four years, with entry into South Africa a consideration. He noted that if MAF were to enter South Africa it would be through acquisition, rather than organic expansion. In 2019 Moreau said MAF will open two more stores in Kenya and enter at least one new country.
Al Meera targets increase in selling space for 2019
Qatar-based Al Meera has held its Extraordinary General Assembly, which has led to it announcing several initiatives. First, the retailer approved an increase in the share of its foreign ownership to 49%. Secondly, it said it was aiming to increase its selling area to more than 100,000 sq. m by the end of 2019. This is up from its initial plan to grow its sales space by 97,000 sq. m.
The expansion in selling space will be driven by new stores, rather than extensions of existing sites. Al Meera said it would open a new centre in Rawdat Al Hamama, which would open in Q3 2019, while it was also building the Al Jumailia and Al Shamal branches and investigating opportunities for five further developments. The retailer is also aiming to open 10 MAAR convenience stores in Qatar Rail. A third strategic pillar will be private label, which Al Meera said it would relaunch during 2019. The relaunch will look at product’s ‘design, diversity, range, packaging, and re-branding’.
Union Coop announces FY2018 results
The UAE’s largest Consumer Cooperative, Union Coop, said it generate a total revenue of AED2.8bn (US$ bn) in 2018. Discussing the positive performance, Union Coop’s chief executive, H E Khalid Humaid Bin Diban Al Falasi, said: “Despite the challenges faced by the retail trade sector, Union Coop has maintained its dominant position in the market by adhering and complying with best international standards and adapting them to suit the local culture of our country in general and the Emirate of Dubai in particular.”
To continue its growth trajectory Union Coop said it was looking to open a further 17 sites in the medium term and has received approval to expand outside Dubai. Union Coop said it is looking for land in Abu Dhabi.
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