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Mon 25 Jan 2016 01:59 PM

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UAE's Lulu named among world's fastest growing retailers

Deloitte report says UAE-based firm achieved revenues of $5.8bn in 2014, is investing $1.7bn in expansion plans

UAE's Lulu named among world's fastest growing retailers
Yusuff Ali MA, chairman of the UAE-based Lulu Group.

UAE-based EMKE Group, which runs the Lulu chain of supermarkets, has been named among the fastest growing retailers in the world over a five-year period.

The company, which has recently revealed expansion plans in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, is estimated to have achieved an annual retail sales turnover of $5.8 billion last year, according to a new report by Deloitte.

Its annual Global Powers of Retailing, which identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world, ranked EMKE at 165th based on publicly available data for fiscal year 2014 while another UAE retailer, Al Futtaim Group, was ranked in 172nd position with revenues of $5.6 billion.

US giant Walmart topped the list with a revenues of $485 billion in 2014, followed by Costco Wholesale Corporation and The Kroger Co. However, UK retailer Tesco which announced its worst ever results last year in UK’s biggest retail loss was pushed to 5th position.

The report also said that that despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world's 250 largest retailers reached $4.5 trillion in the same period, an average size of nearly $18 billion per company.

UK supermarket giant J Sainsbury, fashion brand LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton and jewellery retailer Tiffany - all backed by Qatari money - were ranked 28th, 39th and 225th respectively.

Middle East retail major Lulu was also ranked as the 25th fastest growing retailer in the world, based on revenues between 2009 and 2014.

Lulu currently operates 121 hypermarkets and supermarkets across the MENA and India and has been on an aggressive expansion drive announcing large investments in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi, India, Indonesia and Malaysia to the tune of almost $1.7 billion.

Reacting to the Deloitte report, Yusuffali MA, the chairman of Lulu group, said: “I am very confident of the regional retail market and like in the past, will not slow down our expansion plans. The current negative sentiments on the market are temporary phenomena and companies with strong fundamentals and long term vision will march ahead.

"The next two years are very crucial for us as we embark on new markets of Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia while strengthening our presence in the GCC and India.”

He added: "Online is another area where we are going to focus more. Our luluwebstore which was primarily into consumer durables and electronics is now selling grocery and food products  giving multi-channel shopping experience to our shoppers.”

Deloitte said in its report that most emerging markets suffered as capital outflows put downward pressure on currencies. This led central banks to raise interest rates, thereby dampening growth.

During this period Brazil and Russia fell into recession, but India’s economy accelerated, helped by lower energy prices and an easing of monetary policy.

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