UAE giant plans Asia hypermarket rollout

Emirates-based hypermarket operator is planning a US$3 billion expansion in markets including Malaysia and Indonesia.

Lulu Group says besides expanding its operations in its existing markets it will enter new markets, namely Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt.

Shamim Sainulabdeen, product development manager at Lulu Group, told the Gulf News that more stores will open in the UAE, India and Saudi Arabia.

“We see that there’s stability in the Sri Lankan market now, so it’s the right time to invest there. We are still at the initial stage, so I cannot give a timeline [for the opening of new stores] but maybe, within a span of three years, I can see three or four stores in Sri Lanka,” Sainulabdeen said in an interview.

The group has opened an office in Sri Lanka and has signed memorandums of understanding with partners in Malaysia and Indonesia to set up hypermarkets in both these countries.

“We are projecting a halal factor there and these markets are very important for us since there are a lot of Asians, and we already know the food trends,” he said. “We’ll start by observing the response, and if it is positive, we’ll definitely go with more hypermarkets in this region,” he said.


Meanwhile, the company plans up to 15 new outlets in Indian metropolitan cities during the next three years.

“In India, we already have presence, and it is a success story,” Sainulabdeen said.

The UAE is Lulu’s largest market at present – it has 60-plus stores there already and now plans between 100 and 150 Xpress stores across the country.

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