Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Carrefour to open in Dubai Festival City following Hyperpanda closure

Majid Al Futtaim said that Carrefour Hypermarket in Dubai Festival City would be opening in time for the start of Ramadan.
Hyperpanda in Dubai Festival City Mall will be closing. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Hyperpanda in Dubai Festival City Mall will be closing. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

A Carrefour is set to open in Dubai Festival City by Ramadan, following the closure of the mall’s Hyperpanda store.

Majid Al Futtaim said that the new Carrefour Hypermarket would be open in time for the start of the holy month.

This would bring the number of hypermarkets operated by the mall company in the UAE to 23.

Last month, The National reported that Hyperpanda was set to close after trading for more than a decade at the mall.

Riyadh-listed Savola Group, the parent company of Hyperpanda, said last year that it would reconfigure its operating model in retail because of tough trading conditions. The closure of the outlet comes as traditional retailers and mall owners come under pressure from slowing economic growth, a strong dollar and the rise of e-commerce.

Savola, one of the largest food and retail groups in Saudi Arabia, reported its first quarterly loss in eight years for the fourth quarter of 2016, when it lost 964 million Saudi riyals (Dh944.1m).

The UAE had 459 supermarkets and hypermarkets last year, a figure expected to grow by 7 per cent this year thanks to new shopping malls and the expansion of residential areas, according to Rabia Yasmeen, a research analyst with Euromonitor International.

If the new hypermarket gets its mix right, the UAE is a fertile ground.

“We saw 16 per cent in like-for-like growth in 2016 over 2015,” said Vijay Nandakumar, the head of corporate communications for Lulu Hypermarket.

He said the three most important things about retail remained the same as ever: location, location, location.

“I know many retailers are struggling, but if you have a mix dominated by essential food items then people will come.

You have to have the correct mix across the diverse range of nations in the UAE and you need plenty of parking close to the shop or close to public ­transport.”

Majid Al Futtaim holds the exclusive rights to operate Carrefour in 38 countries. Carrefour is also in a number of malls that are not owned by Maf, including Wafi and Burjuman in Dubai and Dalma Mall and Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, among ­others.

Al Futtaim noted that since Festival City’s relaunch in January after a Dh1.5 billion extension and remodelling, footfall at the mall has risen 20 per cent.

ascott@thenational.ae

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Updated: April 13, 2017 04:00 AM

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