Abu Dhabi’s government has announced plans to upgrade independent stores under the ‘Baqala’ brand name.
Step ‘in tune with Abu Dhabi’s Development Vision for 2030’
The new law will require independents to make their stores more appealing and shopper-friendly. It will specifically involve them adding security systems, cash registers, cooler boxes, clearly displayed prices, storage rooms, overhead storage cabinets, a clear shop front and wider aisles. If these targets are not met by 30 June, then stores will be closed.
In preparation for enforcement of the law, which was first introduced in 2011, many independent owners have decided to close their stores as they did not have the money to invest in improvements. However, the Abu Dhabi government has said that 71% of eligible stores had signed up to the project.
Law change to provide opportunity for chains
The shutting of independent stores has presented chains with a ready supply of real estate to expand into in Abu Dhabi. This opportunity has seen the expansion of chains like Adnoc Oasis, Circle K, Select Express, Spar and Spinneys.
Commenting on this move, the official spokesman for the committee responsible for reorganising grocery stores, Mohammad Jalal Al Rayssi, said: “The recent introduction of convenience stores by prominent retail chains is just the beginning. Many more such companies and other investors will open new stores in the coming days.”