As UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim reaffirms its plans to double in size over the next five years, the emirates gained a new hypermarket operator in the form of Qatar-based Saudia Group and Spinneys, LuLu and Label’Vie announce expansion plans for different countries, we round up news from the region.
UAE gets new hypermarket chain
Qatar-based Saudia Group has opened its first Kenz Hypermarket in the UAE, in the emirate of Ajman, after investing AED80 mn (US$21.8 mn) in the nearly 15,000 sq. m store. Speaking at the store’s opening, the Group’s managing director, Rashid Musthafa Abdu, said that Saudia was planning to invest a further AED45 mn (US$12.2 mn) to nearly double the size of the hypermarket in the short term.
Commenting on the potential it sees in the UAE, the group’s chairman, N K Musthafa, said: “Our retail operations has seen a steady growth in Qatar and we are positive that UAE, with its vibrant economy and large avenues for hypermarkets, will be a highly opportune market for us.” Despite the Saudia Group’s positive outlook, it enters a market that is already highly competitive with a large number of hypermarkets already present. Differentiating its offer and providing lower prices than existing operators will be key to making an impression in the country in the medium term.
Spinneys expands in Egypt…
Spinneys has opened a new 3,000 sq. m store in Cairo’s Giza district as the retailer continues its expansion in the country. The retailer has maintained its pace of expansion, adding its core hypermarket format where possible, but also opening relatively smaller supermarkets to enable it to open stores in urban areas, closer to shoppers. Commenting on the changing strategy, Spinneys Egypt’s chief executive, Mohanad Adly, said: “Our growth plan looks different today than it did a few years back, driven by shoppers’ expectations for convenience and high service levels. The varying size and locations of these stores will enable Spinneys to create a unique shopping experience with an extensive food variety customised for each community.” The Giza store is part of Spinneys’ aim to add five stores in Egypt in 2015.
…Rejects merger offer from Kuwait-based Sultan Centre
After a period of speculation, Spinneys’ chief executive, Michael Wright, has said that it has turned a proposed merger with Kuwait-based retailer The Sultan Centre (TSC). Wright was quoted as saying that Spinneys remained a fast growing chain and that it would be stronger as an independent entity, rather than merged with TSC.
Carrefour franchisee in Morocco to maintain pace of store openings
Carrefour’s franchisee in Morocco, Label’Vie has said that it is committed to adding new stores to turn it into a nationwide chain. The company has said that before the end of 2015 it is planning to open five Carrefour Market supermarkets, a Carrefour hypermarket and one Atacadão. The stores are set to be added cities where it already operates, Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech, and in Larache, where it does not. The new stores are part of Label’Vie’s previously announced strategy to invest MAD1.6 bn (US$164.6 mn) to expand its presence to 116 stores, from 65 presently.
Majid Al Futtaim recommits to doubling in size in five years
Although previously announced, Majid Al Futtaim has recommitted to its plan to double the size of its operations over the next five years. The statement came from the chief executive of the company’s shopping mall business, Michael Cesarz, who went on to say that while other countries were likely to receive investment, the UAE would remain its core market in the medium term.
LuLu continues expansion with new store in Oman
EMKE-owned LuLu has opened its 118th store in Sinaw, Oman. The store, which is spread over nearly 12,000 sq. m of selling space, is set to maintain the retailer’s pace of expansion in the region.