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Tue 7 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Geant KSA aims to take wholesale business

Geant KSA aims to hit US $1 billion in revenue within three years and expects up to half of that could come from existing wholesalers.

Wholesalers beware: Geant Saudi Arabia aims to hit US $1 billion in revenue within three years and expects that up to half its business could come from existing wholesalers. The company’s CEO, Mohammed Adil, told Retail News Middle East that bikalas, businesses and large families are fed up with wholesalers and welcome the alternative that a hypermarket offers them.

“People ask me: “You’re talking about US $1 billion [in revenue] over three years. From where?” I always tell them: 50% is from the existing operators, 50% is from the wholesale market: the large families, large business customers, bikalas... Today, they go to the hypermarket because they get a similar price and a better service,” Adil said.

Furthermore, he argues, suppliers of FMCG products are coming round to the idea of hypermarkets because, “currently they go through a hard time with the wholesalers.”

In a lengthy interview with Retail News Middle East, the straight talking CEO of Geant Saudi Arabia said that he aims to have 15 hypermarkets operating within the next three years.

The company, a franchise agreement between Groupe Casino, owner of Geant, and Fawaz Al Hokair Group, believes it has a crucial headstart in the Saudi market, having beaten Carrefour to market last year by seven months. It opened its first store, in Riyadh, in April 2004 and now has a second outlet in Al Khobar.

The company confirmed that three more branches will open in 2005, in southern Riyadh, Jeddah and Qassim. Four more are due in 2006, which will bring the total by the end of next year to nine.

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