RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN arab news staff
Published — Thursday 7 June 2012
Last update 7 June 2012 4:42 am
The Lulu Hypermarket chain opened its new giant store in the capital yesterday, which is the fourth hypermarket in the Kingdom and 103rd Lulu store in the world.
The new hypermarket that offers thousands of food items, fashion wears and home appliances as well as consumer goods of local and international trademarks, was officially opened by leading Saudi businessman Ibrahim Al-Subeai, Lulu Managing Director Yusuffali M.A., Indian Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao.
Yusuffali announced that an investment of about SR 1 billion would be made in the Kingdom in the next three years.
Saudi officials, businessmen and diplomats including Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago were among those present. A huge crowd assembled at the gate of the new Lulu store at the time of the opening, giving a tough time to the security guards manning the entrances of the mall.
In reply to a question about Lulu’s plan for Saudi Arabia, the businessman said: “The plan is to open eight hypermarkets in 2013 including the existing three stores.”
He said Lulu’s expansion plan would continue in the entire Gulf region. Lulu will have 10 hypermarkets operational in the Kingdom by July 2014.
He rejected outright any threat posed by the regional turmoil in the Middle East or by the recessionary trends in some parts of the world.
“In fact, the response of the customers has encouraged us to go ahead with our plans to open more hypermarkets in the Kingdom,” the Lulu chief said, adding that the opening of the new stores are creating more jobs for Saudis. The new hypermarket has employed about 250 Saudi nationals. “We are pleased to appoint Saudi nationals and provide them regular training to enable them to be competent workers in the retail sector,” he added.
Yusuffali said the new Lulu opening takes the brand’s hypermarket tally to 103, giving the opportunity to continue to develop its internationally-renowned brand further and cement its position as the hypermarket destination for the local community in the Kingdom and elsewhere in the Gulf. The new hypermarket, covering an area of 200,000 square feet, has 36 cash desks on the two floors, which are very spacious allowing more leg space for people and playing area for kids.
The new store also has exclusive counters for jewelry, mobiles, perfumes, watches and cosmetics. In addition, the new hypermarket will feature the widest choice of world-class brands at the most reasonable prices.
“Moreover, the location of the new hypermarket is also strategic due to the population base of Batha, a highly populated district of Riyadh,” said Yusuffali.
“This momentous occasion is even more special for us since we have just crossed our 20th year of retailing,” he said. Over the last two decades of success and accomplishments, Lulu has earned the reputation of providing customers with a world-class shopping experience.
“The Lulu experience of quality and value is for everyone to experience from every corner of Saudi Arabia, and this is our commitment,” he added.
“Our commitments for Saudi Arabia are further encouraged by the stability and security provided to one and all under the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, which has propelled the nation on to the fast tracks of development,” said Yusuffali.
He also praised the liberalized business policies and regulatory provisions, which have enabled Saudi Arabia to attract substantial investments.
“With three stores in Riyadh and one in Alkhobar, Lulu has firmly established itself as one of the most preferred retail destinations for both locals and the large expatriate community,” he said.
“The Lulu chain records 500,000 plus footfalls every day and the number of our customers are progressively growing. ‘Good quality products at affordable prices with best services,’ has always been the Lulu philosophy, he added.