Rising emirate racks up C-store strategy

Newcomer to UAE's grocery market to push high-tech home delivery ordering for first 500 stores.
Rising emirate racks up C-store strategy
By Administrator
Sun 10 Aug 2008 04:00 AM

RAK Holding is braced to enter the UAE's convenience retail sector and will open 500 shops across its new chain NearBuy by the first quarter of 2009.

The Ras Al Khaimah-based firm plans to open store within 500m of most homes across the emirates, some tipped to be partnerships with existing grocery stores that may be in need of financial assistance.

Of the initial roll-out, 300 will be by NearBuy and the other 200 will be in collaborations with existing stores.

The urgent need for more high-quality convenience stores was cited by officials as the rationale behind the announcement that it would develop the chain.

Hundreds of stores are projected over the next few, with 2,000 stores needed to reach every neighbourhood in the country - each one stocking its shelves differently, based on the profile of the local population.

NearBuy will differentiate itself from hypermarkets by offering a website on which customers have the opportunity to order from home. The company also plans to establish a toll-free hotline and SMS service for shopping and deliveries.

Rak Holding CEO Rajeshwar Prasad warned the effect of hypermarkets has threatened the future for groceries and Near Buy will bid to be as close as possible to customers.

"We appreciate what small grocers have contributed to the success of the UAE. We believe today that it is the right time and right opportunity to add value to small grocers," said His Highness Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi, chairman of RAK Holding.

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