February 2019, UAE-based retail giant Lulu signed a USD 500 Mn agreement with Egypt to boost the North African country’s retail sector. Per a WeeTracker report, the Arab nation already has four hypermarkets, while Lulu plans to add 4 more in the next two years.
A follow-up to this reveals that Lulu is in the final stages of completing the investment. But the group decided to step things up a notch and establish six new hypermarkets instead.
The retail giant which already has one of these in Cairo will also add four mini markets with other developers from the private sector. This is a part of the agreement signed with the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, and the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities of Egypt.
This investment is a rather big one for Lulu, in a bid to boost its presence in the world’s most populous Arab country and Africa’s top investment destination.
According to Youssef Ali, Lulu chairman, and managing director, the group initially wanted to invest just USD 100 Mn, but decided to multiply it five times in order to deepen its footprints and create just about enough hyper and mini markets to provide 8,000 sustainable jobs for Egyptians.
The contracts will see to the building of 4 projects by the Urban Communities Authority within 12 months. Lulu will begin to manage and operate the projects in a period 3 to 6 months starting from the completion date, according to Ali al-Meselhi, Egypt’s Minister of Supply and Internal Trade. The projects will base in New Cairo, Sixth October, and El Obour.
Lulu, which has and operates 176 hypermarkets in the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia, is also holding talks with the Egyptian government to venture into the wholesale market for vegetables and fruits as it looks to set up a logistics center that will support its retail activities in the country. Outside this, the group plans to open 200 new hypermarkets in the regions it currently operates.
Dr Ibrahim Ashmawy, Deputy Minister of Internal Trade and chairman of the Internal Trade Development Authority; and Enf Tarek El Sebaiy, Deputy Minister of Housing, signed the agreement with Yusuff Ali M.A., chairman of Lulu Group International, in the presence of Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly along with supply and internal trade Ali minister Al Meselhi and housing, utilities and urban communities minister Assem Al Gazzar at the cabinet headquarters in Cairo.