M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News
Published — Saturday 27 August 2005
Last Update 27 August 2005 3:00 am
RIYADH, 27 August 2005 — A new Geant hypermarket, the largest store in the south Riyadh suburbs, opened Wednesday night amid great fanfare by giving away more than 500 promotional items at reduced prices. The inaugural ceremony, held in the presence of an estimated 75,000 shoppers, was led by a child, who was among the first customers to arrive in the hypermarket.
Senior Geant executives, including Salman A. Al-Hokair and his family members, owner of the Riyadh-based Geant Saudi Ltd., were also present. Speaking after the opening ceremony, Mohammed Adil, Geant’s chief executive officer, said that this new hypermarket, on the West Ring Road of the capital, has more than 55,000 items under its roof with guaranteed ‘best prices’.
“Within next three years, we will open about 15 hypermarkets in the Kingdom,” said, Adil. The company has also announced the opening of its first hypermarket in Jeddah before the holy month of Ramadan this year. He said that Fawaz Al-Hokair Group were the largest retailers in the Middle East besides being involved in many business projects in other sectors.
Adil said that there would always be 500 products in the store on promotional prices. The ambience, the construction of the mall, the competitive prices and its facilities - the largest food court, the huge entertainment center and the ice skating rink - would always attract customers.
“This hypermarket is designed to provide an entirely new shopping experience for people of Riyadh,” said Adil.
He said that Geant stocks and sells thousands of products - from groceries, bakery, textiles, to fashion goods and electronic at highly competitive prices. “We are the pioneers and we have introduced the French hypermarket model in the Kingdom for consumer benefit with marginal profitability,” he said. He said that the consumer was the ultimate winner in the fierce war of price competition.
CEO Adil said that the Geant hypermarkets incorporated a very high standard of display and merchandising. “I am very grateful to our customers of Central and Eastern regions, who have proven their support and loyalty to Geant,” said Adil adding that, “We are the leaders in the market mainly because of the customers’ support.”
Ajlan Al-Haddad, a Saudi customer, said that the quality and the prices were better than many other similar hypermarkets or supermarkets of the city. “A range of products including television, computers, comforters, toys and most grocery items are priced 10 percent to 50 percent lower,” said Masood Hashmi, an Indian shopper, who purchased a mobile phone.
A Pakistani customer Danish Kamran simply said “amazing prices”, when asked for his comment last night. “To get their discounted items home people had to tolerate checkout lines that were always at least 15 carts long”, said Kamran, who was accompanying his family and friends. A few Asian shoppers were also seen carrying several carts full of pampers and comforters simply to resell them at a higher price.