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LuLu to enter India with mall in Kerala

UAE-based retail major LuLu, which runs 58 stores in the Gulf, is gearing up to start construction on a 1.2 million square foot mall in Kochi, Kerala, it's maiden project in India.

LuLu, the flagship supermarket and hypermarket brand of Indian-owned conglomerate Emke Group, will act as the mall's anchor store with a 200,000 square foot hypermarket. It will lease out space for a further 170 international and regional brands and a food court.

Construction will start "very soon" ahead of a scheduled 2009 opening, a company official said.

The company is also conducting feasibility studies into rolling out malls throughout the country, especially the southern metro cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, said Yousuf Ali M.A., managing director of Emke Group. "We're not ruling out any of the main cities. The Indian economy is booming and the middle class has never had it better. There are significant opportunities in India and this is the right time to enter the market," he told Gulf News, adding that Egypt, Libya and Kenya are also potential targets for future expansion.

The news follows Monday's opening of a LuLu hypermarket in Al Barsha, the company's biggest store in the UAE. The Dh205 million project takes the total store number to 58 in the Gulf.

Bjorn Ostbye, project development manager at Emke Group, said the project, which includes a variety of retail outlets in addition to the LuLu hypermarket anchor store, will boast an average footfall of 15,000-20,000 per day and targets shoppers in the Al Barsha, Jumeirah and "New Dubai".

Currently the group operates supermarkets and hypermarkets in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Yemen and is set to launch its operations in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by the end of this year.

"Next year will see nine more hypermarkets coming up in different GCC countries at an estimated investment of Dh3 billion" said Yousuf Ali.

A group with wide business interests

The Emke Group reported annual turnover of Dh4.3 billion last year and has interests in retail, manufacturing, food processing, exports and imports and travel. According to information released by the group, its retail chains cater to over 200,000 customers every day and command 32 per cent of the total retail market share within the GCC.

Source: gulfnews.com

Publication date: 6/27/2007


 


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