Dubai: Middle Eastern retail major LuLu announced the launch of 100th store in Ras Al Khaimah later this month to further strengthen their market share in the region.
Addressing a press conference in Dubai today, Yusuff Ali MA, Emke LuLu Group's Managing Director said "it was part of our well thought-out "Achieve 100" growth plan launched in 2009 to reach 100 stores mark within 3 years. We are obviously pleased to announce that our 100th LuLu inside RAK Mall, also constructed by the Group, will be inaugurated by HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah on 26th April".
Even during the global financial meltdown and industry wide recession, LuLu Group has gone ahead with their announced plan and opened 23 hypermarkets and shopping malls in the last 3 years in almost all major cities of the GCC. "Not a single project was shelved or postponed" added Yusuff Ali. One of the most popular and recognized local brands of the region, LuLu today is a market leader in almost all the countries that they operate. "We are going ahead with our major expansion plans in all GCC countries. In Abu Dhabi alone, we will have another 6 Hypermarkets which will include Al Ain and Western Regions" he added.
LuLu, which started out as Supermarket & Department stores chain has gradually moved onto to the big format Hypermarkets and now is also a force to reckon with in the shopping mall sector. The Group manages 10 very successful shopping malls in the GCC countries which also includes Hypermarkets.
LuLu, the hypermarket group which was awarded Dubai Quality Award, has always been in the forefront in terms of adapting to new technologies and innovations. The first to implement SAP Business Intelligence Accelerator and Explorer in the region and the first to deploy Wireless Technology in retail operations, the Group's next move is to launch its "WEBSTORE". "Though the online retail is still in its early stages in the region, we see great potential in it, especially among the youth segment. The popularity of brand LuLu combined with innovative approach and tremendous value addition which we will bring to our "WEBSTORE" will surely make it the most convenient way to shop. Having said that "I see no negative impact of this on our regular store business as vast majority of shoppers here still prefer "touch & feel" shopping and online will help us add more new shoppers".
"LuLu Webstore" will be launched soon and initially will cater to UAE market before rolling out to other GCC countries. Going with the success of its digital marketing initiatives through social media and e-coupons, the LuLu Webstore is sure to act as a catalyst for the online shopping scene in the region.
Group's co-branded credit and loyalty card launched in association with ADCB, which was voted as the best Credit Card at the Smart Cards Awards Middle East 2011, is another product that has got them sizeable amount of loyal customers since its launch 4 years ago. "Obviously it has been a very fruitful partnership with ADCB with our shoppers being the ultimate winner. We will be very soon announcing our next initiative in the loyalty program with bigger rewards and even bigger savings" added Yusuff Ali.
One of the most prominent local groups that has always kept the larger interest of UAE as the priority, LuLu is today seen as the front runner in implementing many "inflation curbing" initiatives. For the last 5 years it has signed up an agreement with the Ministry of Economy for freezing the prices of essential commodities and also taken many steps to bring down the prices of imported products. "As I am here for almost 40 years, I know the pulse of this region very well and work according to the local demands" said Yusuff Ali.
As a responsible corporate entity, we have always supported any pro-people steps taken by the Govt. In fact in the last few years we have established our own sourcing offices in major hubs of Asia, Far East, Africa and Europe to directly import products to eliminate "middlemen cost" and pass that benefit to the customers. We have invested in a state-of-the-art warehouse with an area of more than 2 million Sq.ft. in capital city of Abu Dhabi, where we can stock products for three months. I am also delighted to note that recent media reports have found that prices of essential food products are in fact coming down and LuLu is the most "competitive" among all hypermarkets here" a beaming Yusuff Ali added.
"We see great potential in the eastern & western regions for quality shopping centers and this is where our future focus will be. Apart from big format Hypermarkets and shopping malls we also would like to take our LuLu EXPRESS brand to the interior areas and suburban communities across the UAE for the local UAE nationals. Our prices will be the same in all places and these stores would be quick & easy shopping destinations with a range of quality products right at your doorsteps, avoiding the hassle of long drive to big city based malls" Yusuff Ali said.
By the grace of God and support from the Rulers of this great nation, we have reached this far, so numbers will not be our goal in future. We will be more focused on becoming a truly locally grown but International class RETAIL BRAND offering some of the most fascinating retail and leisure options to the shoppers from around the world and at the same time playing our humble role in the economic development of this great nation" concluded Yusuff Ali, who is also the first non-arab elected member of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI).