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Tue 1 May 2007 05:00 PM

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VLCC plans Middle East retail chain in $27m growth plan

Indian producer of health products plans to move into the retail sector in a bid to develop its brand in the region.

VLCC International, an Indian company that produces goods including food and body care items and specialises in health and weight loss programmes, is planning establish a chain of retail outlets and eateries across the Middle East, as part of an ambitious AED100 million (US $27.2 million) expansion plan, the company told
Retail News Middle East

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The company, which already runs its health programmes from its VLCC centres in the UAE, intends to open 220 stores across the Middle East, from which it will sell its range of health foods and products.

"The first shop will be coming up in one of the malls in Dubai and then it will spread," said Mukesh Luthra, chairman and managing director, VLCC. "We have started signing leases and we will be opening almost 220 shops over the Middle East." He added that the first outlets in Dubai will be open by around June or July.

The outlets will stock the full range of VLCC products, which includes its own brands of skincare and body care items, and health foods and drinks. Furthermore, VLCC will also bolster its brand presence by supplying its products to other retailers in the region.

"We have almost 100 skincare and body care products," Luthra said. "They are completely natural Ayrvurdic and herbal, so there are no after effects on the skin and even the most sensitive skin can use these products. They are sold to VLCC outlets and we will also be launching them in about three months in supermarkets and speciality shops."

VLCC's retail outlets will have a strong focus on health and beauty advice, with specialist staff such as dermatologists on hand in all of the new outlets to advise customers on the products.

"The outlets will have services in terms of beauty advice, such as a dermatologist to look at each client's skin and hair and to suggest what products they should be using," Luthra said.

VLCC is also planning to bring its eatery concept, known as ‘Alive' in India, to the Middle East. The company expects to open the first Middle East outlet, which will sell products such as healthy bread and cookies, in Dubai in six months.

To support its Middle East operations, VLCC also intends to establish a factory in Jebel Ali, UAE, to produce its goods, according to Luthra. VLCC is also expanding in India by setting up 400 shops to sell its products.

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