Middle East: expansion and online

Date : 24 January 2017

As online competition rises in Iran, Spinneys, Al Meera, Fathima Group and LuLu expand, we round up news from the region.

Iran sees launch of online supermarket

HyperKa.com has been launched in Iran, marking a further expansion of online supermarket options in the country. The site links shoppers with local supermarkets and, therefore, will not have any stock itself. Payment can be made through the site or on delivery. However, making an impression in the market is felt to be an initial challenge for the site given the number of stores in most urban areas and the fact that many already offer home delivery.

Spinneys continues expansion in Egypt…

Spinneys has added another new store in New Cairo, with the company noting that the first opened in the Maxim Mall in July 2016 had been a success. The 3,500 sq. m store means that Spinneys operates 10 in the country, with five further stores set to be opened in 2017, with the retailer saying that its next store is planned to be opened in the Upper Egypt city of Menya.

…While LuLu grows in Qatar

LuLu has opened its seventh store in Qatar at Al Messila in Doha, a c. 14,000 sq. m hypermarket. The retailer said the stores, its 132nd, will provide local shoppers with its ‘biggest range of 'free from' products such as gluten-free, lacto-free, sugar-free and fat-free that have been specially flown-in from our own sourcing offices in the UK, US, Brazil and Far East’.

Al Meera signs MoU to support local entrepreneurs

Al Meera has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) that it says will ‘strengthen cooperation through the exchange of industrial information and personnel expertise’ with local entrepreneurs. The retailer said that it was aiming to do this by supporting local start-ups by giving them access to support across areas like finance, support and advisory services.

Separately, the retailer also said it would be opening a new store in Msheireb Downtown Doha, in the Galleria Mall. Discussing the store, Al Meera’s chairman, Sheikh Thani bin Thamer Al Thani, said that the store would show of the company’s new design and ‘a new, unique vision’.

Fathima opens new flagship in Dubai

Fathima has opened a flagship hypermarket in Dubai, a c. 3,500 sq. m store in Bur Dubai. As part of the new store opening the company’s chief executive, Sameer Sulaiman, confirmed that it was planning to open four hypermarkets in the short term in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Thrissur in India, and Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah in the UAE.