Lulu Group to push Middle East’s retail sector growth with $2.9bn investment

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Lulu Group International, the operator of the Middle East’s largest organized retailer, has planned for an investment of $2.9 billion in the retail sector, to open 91 new hypermarkets and stores in four years, from 2020 to 2023.

This came at the RetailME Tech & Marcoms Summit and ICONS Awards, organized by Images RetailME, the largest retail information and market intelligence platform in the Middle East, that saw 45 experts sharing their insights on the changing retail landscape in the region and the rest of the world.

Despite the headwinds and rising inflation worldwide, the retail sector is witnessing growth. The global retail sales revenue will grow from $26 trillion in 2021 to more than $30 trillion in 2024, which is equivalent to a third of the global economy, according to industry reports. A report released by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has projected the UAE’s retail sales to reach $70.5 billion by 2025, an annual growth of 6.6 percent.

Nandakumar Vijayan
Nandakumar Vijayan
Marketing & Communications
Lulu Group

“We are going to open 11 more hypermarkets this year and a further 27 hypermarkets and stores next year. For each hypermarket, the company usually invests around $34 million. We opened 9 hypermarkets and 2 dark stores in 2020 and 24 hypermarkets and three stores in 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue with our expansion this year despite the challenging environment. We have already opened 14 hypermarkets and 1 store so far in 2022 with 11 more to open by the end of this year.”

According to a new report, eCommerce growth occurred as a result of the high internet usage by the Middle East populace. The UAE’s eCommerce market is forecast to increase 60 percent to more than $8 billion by 2025 from 2021, as consumers across the region continue to shift towards online retail.

Related: US-based Goodyear expands UAE footprint with new retail outlet in Abu Dhabi