Lulu Group opens a third shopping center in India; will launch two more shopping centers in the next 6 months, says CMD, Retail News, ET Retail

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New Delhi: The UAE-based Lulu Group opened its new shopping center in Bengaluru on Monday and will complete two more properties in India over the next six months as the company remains optimistic about the long-term growth of the business of retail. In an interview with PTI, Lulu Group Chairman and CEO, MA Yusuff Ali, said the company has made an investment of around 4,500 crore for the development of five shopping centers in India in the first phase of expansion. in the country and of the five, the three shopping centers have already become operational in Kochi, Thrissur and now Bengaluru.

The Rajajinagar Global Mall in Bangalore, with an area of ​​8 lakh square feet, does not belong to the Lulu group but it will manage and operate the property.

“We have a large hypermarket in Kochi and a small hypermarket in Thrissur district. This (in Bengaluru) is our third hypermarket in India,” said Ali, who is visiting India for the launch of the Bengaluru mall.

LuLu Group International has pledged Rs 5000 crore to develop shopping centers in Bangalore, Trivandrum and Lucknow. The company had already planned to open these stores last year. However, the outbreak of the global pandemic halted his plan.

In addition to a 2lakh square foot hypermarket, the Bengaluru shopping center will have a unique entertainment area, Funtura, spread over 60,000 square feet. “There has been some delay in our two shopping center projects in Trivandrum and Lucknow. We will not back down from any projects. We are moving forward,” Ali said.

The next shopping center in Trivandrum will open by the end of this year, while the Lucknow shopping center is expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.

“In the first phase, we planned these five projects. The first batch of investments is around Rs 4,500 crore for all these five projects,” Ali said.

For the next phase of investment, the company is considering new markets in the states where it is already present and also new states.

Asked about the outlook for retail in the midst of the COVID pandemic, Ali said, “As a retail organization with nearly four decades of experience, we’ve been through ups and downs. But obviously “The worst is behind us. Things can’t get worse than this. In tough and difficult times, we have to make adjustments and fine-tune things, but now I can confidently say it only gets better.” ”

“Travel restrictions have loosened, people are vaccinated, they are paying more attention to themselves, people are eager to get out, enjoy and get back to life. Enough virtual and digital life. We see potential for huge growth, ”he observed.

Recognizing the importance of online retailing, Lulu CMD Group said it is an omnichannel player.

“Everywhere we open a mall, we also add online shopping. Online is the truth, but at the same time, experiential shopping and the touch and feel will remain,” he said.

Ali stressed that health and fitness, as well as organic food categories, have become important due to the pandemic.

“While no business has been immune from the pandemic over the past two years, I am convinced that it is only a matter of time before the retail industry rebounds.” Ali said.

He expects a strong recovery in the retail industry this festival season.

Lulu Group, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, reported annual sales of $ 7.4 billion last year.

The Group, with its flagship distribution chain of Lulu hypermarkets and supermarkets, is present in 22 countries.

Currently, Lulu Group operates 215 Lulu stores and 23 shopping centers in the GCC, Egypt, India and the Far East.

The Group’s business portfolio ranges from the operation of hypermarkets to the development of shopping centers, including the manufacturing and trading of goods, food processing plants, wholesale distribution, hotel assets and retail. real estate development.

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Peggy P. Gilmore

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