By Ed Attwood
Nakheel says Hypercorp JV not disbanded ‘as of today’, no fresh timeline on 2011 mall openings
The closure of the Auchan hypermarket in Nakheel’s DragonMart shopping centre has left question marks over the Hypercorp joint venture, which was set up to grow the French brand across the UAE.
Auchan and Nakheel signed a joint venture agreement in 2008 to open hypermarkets across the Gulf, opening the first Auchan outlet in DragonMart in 2009.
However, the poor economic climate forced the hypermarket’s closure at the beginning of this year.
Arabian Business can also reveal that the Hypercorp CEO, Jean Marie Teyssedre, left the company in November 2010, and is now working as the managing partner for Elara Retail Management.
“Hypercorp has not been disbanded as of today,” a Nakheel spokesperson told Arabian Business.
The debt-laden Dubai developer, a subsidiary of Dubai World, also could not confirm whether Hypercorp would be playing a role in the opening of five new malls that Nakheel has said it will open this year.
“There is always a possibility of considering a relationship between Hypercorp and Nakheel but as of today, no decision has been made as to the form of relationship and in what capacity this will be,” the spokesperson added.
In October 2010, Nakheel CEO Chris O’Donnell told Arabian Business that the firm was planning extensions at DragonMart and Ibn Battutah, its two existing Dubai malls, and that it would add a further five smaller malls in 2011.
“DragonMart has continued to be incredibly successful in this downturn. [The] physical number of people coming through and actual dirhams spent has increased in the last two years. Ibn Battuta mall is the same,” O’Donnell said.
The five new malls will be based in existing developments such as Discovery Gardens and Jumeirah Village, the CEO added.
However, Nakheel says that it currently has no timeline for the opening of those malls.
“Preliminary investigative work is underway and once complete the timeline will be known,” the Nakheel spokesperson said.
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Another credit to Nakheel for the positive outlook maintained..!!
The location was a non-starter - even in a stronger market
Nakheel have the kiss of death for whatever business it enters . It is time the Dubai Government step in and disbanded this unmanageable and cumbersome company or failing that, split to smaller size more accountable companies that have to perform. Nowhere in the business world would such a company like Nakheel survive.
Why would you open a French hyper-market in a largely Chinese angled retail centre.
I would have thought that concentrating on finishing off some existing projects would be more productive for Nakheel's reputation than building shopping centres, unless they service a community where people have already moved in without facilities. Like we don't have enough malls already spread across the city?
When you can corporately stick your hand up and say for example the infrastructure is fully completed at Jumeirah Golf Estates and the first residents are moving in, in time for the third edition of the European PGA Dubai World Cup, that will have a positive spin. All this coming soon stuff cuts no ice with customers anymore.
The problem was with the management of Auchan and the way they were running the hypermarket and not the location. My point should be proven when a local hypermarket will move in soon and take benefit of the large number of people without a decent hypermarket in International City..
The only problem was the Auchan top management. The strategy used was not at all in line with the needed strategy.
Pepole of international city need one good shoping centre for thier weekly or monthly shopping like Lulu, Carfour, Hyper Panda or Union corp. The colsest shoping is union corp which is approx. 5km. I prefer lulu or carefour will benefit by opening a hypermarket in I'City and also the pepole of I'City.