Carrefour targets UAE expansion

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French retail giant Carrefour is eyeing rapid expansion across the UAE as it struggles in the European market.
French retail giant Carrefour is eyeing rapid expansion across the UAE as it struggles in the European market. Photo-Alan C

Carrefour, the French global retailer, is aiming to achieve rapid expansion in the UAE to fuel its future growth.

Sales revenues of the world’s second largest retailer have come under tremendous pressure in its home market. In Europe, weak economic growth and poor weather have resulted in a sharp decline for first quarter sales. During the last five years, Carrefour has sold assets in five countries to strengthen its domestic business. The store intends to focus on improving its price perception, refurbishing outlets and broadening its multichannel offering.

Majid Al Futtaim, which holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 19 markets across the Middle East and Central Asia, has entered into a 20-year lease for the first Carrefour Market, a convenience-store sized market, in Abu Dhabi. Measuring around 1,200 square meters in the AD-1 Tower Project, the store is managed by Abu Dhabi Commercial Properties. Located in the Adnec’s new Capital Centre development, it is expected to open within four months. The group is also expected to open a Carrefour Market at Al Muneera in Al Raha Beach.

The retail giants’ expansion plan could be boosted by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority decision to close about 1300 neighborhood groceries in the city. These shops failed to comply with the stringent requirements related to storage and sanitation.

Carrefour has been able to achieve stable sales in the Asian region. During the first quarter of this year, Carrefour launched or acquired 142 stores, eight of which were in the larger region which includes the Middle East. The store refers to the Middle East as “Others” a region which also groups together Maghreb and Dominican Republic. Out of the chain’s total of 10,036 stores all over the globe, 198 stores were located in the “Others” region.

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