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We look at how CFAO, Carrefour’s franchisee in West and Central Africa, is expanding its Supeco and Carrefour Market formats.

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We round up the latest news from the Middle East as Noon launches its own private label range and as the Giant Group sells its Safestway brand to West Zone.

Noon launches private label range

Saudi Arabia-based, online retailer noon has launched its first private label range, called east. The launch is part of noon’s aim to offer customers “more choice, convenience and incredible value”.

Noon said there are almost 90 products in the range with competitive pricing. Among these are, USB cables, battery packs, chargers, bathrobes and granite cooking sets. Noon said the range features simple, practical designs and will continue to be expanded to include popular and in-demand products.

Noon said it has partnered with several trusted manufactures and supplies to ensure that the east range is made of high-quality materials using the best technology. East is currently available to customers in the UAE, but will be extended to Saudi Arabia soon.

The Giant Group to sell Safestway brand

Meanwhile in Dubai, the Giant Group has announced it will sell its supermarket chain Safestway to West Zone. The companies have not disclosed the cost of the transaction but said the Safestway outlets will retain their branding.

Safestway is an importer and distributor of consumer goods, food and grocery products. It claims to be the “largest importer of specialised Filipino foodstuffs in the Gulf region”. The chain features a variety of products commonly found in US supermarkets and is known for its competitive pricing.

It has recently decided to shift its focus from retail to distribution, having recently opened a 7,900 sq m temperature-controlled logistics facility. The two Safestway stores, in the Al Safa area near Shaikh Zayed Road and in Jumeirah Village Triangle, will now be operated by West Zone.

South Africa-based Woolworths has reported a slower growth in sales for the 26 weeks ending 23 December 2018. Sales increased by 1.9% compared with a 2.5% increase in the same period in 2017.

Food sales increased by 6.3%...

The company said its growth was impacted by the absence of a pre-Christmas trading day, which helped sales in 2017. However, Woolworths Food sales increased by 6.3%, with volume growth said to be driven by low levels of inflation, higher levels of promotions and price investment. Comparable store sales also increased by 4.2%, with a net retail area growth of 1.4%.

…Outperforming non-food categories

Woolworths Fashion and Beauty and Home sales fell by 2%. Comparable stores were 2.4% lower, due to a smaller winter clearance sale in Q1 2018. The company did, however, report a growth in sales in Q2 2018.

We look at how UAE-based Lulu and Dubai-based Union Coop are expanding in the Middle East.

Lulu opens hypermarket in Saudi Arabia…

As part of its expansion plans, Lulu has opened its 15th hypermarket in Saudi Arabia located in Al Kharj. The 15,000 sq m store is Lulu’s 158th hypermarket globally. The retailer has said the stores features a spacious layout with organised category displays.

LuLu’s chairman Yusuff Ali M A said, “we have already announced that as part of our expansion plans, 15 new hypermarkets will be opened in the Kingdom by 2020 at an investment of SAR1bn (US$266.5m)”.

The retailer has signed an agreement with the Saudi Arabian National Guard to open two shopping centres and seven supermarkets in Dammam and Al Ahsa. It also hopes to open three stores in the National Guard campus before the end of 2019.

…And in Oman

Separately, the company has also opened a store at Wadi al Lawami in Al Khoudh, Muscat. The c. 32,000 sq m hypermarket carries a wide range of groceries, fruits and vegetables and bakery products, amongst others. To drive footfall and encourage shoppers to spend time in-store, LuLu also provides a food court, indoor and outside seating areas and children’s play facilities.

Union Coop to triple retail area by 2022

UAE-based Union Coop is planning to triple its retail selling area to 582,000 sq m by 2022. The retailer expects the expansion will help drive an 84% increase in revenue to AED5.7bn (US$1.6bn). It also hopes the expansion will improve its business opportunities and services to shareholders and consumers.

Chairman Majid Hamad Rahmah Al Shamsi said Union Coop will improve its operational efficiency by implementing initiatives designed to support current stores, develop new stores and boost online sales. He added, “We’re keen to keep up with the changing retail landscape by offering various shopping channels for the convenience and happiness of the consumers, in the form of online shopping, Shopper valet, home delivery and many more services”. Union Coop also hopes to expand outside Dubai in the short term.


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Key Presentations

This report looks at our latest view on the Middle East’s grocery market and how we expect it to grow to 2022. We highlight what this means for suppliers and retailers in the region and its largest markets.

Store visits

Understand the economic backdrop for retailers operating in the Middle East, and the five trends we expect to see them adopting in the future.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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