One of Middle East’s major retail conglomerates, the Lulu Group is ranked as the 25th fastest growing retailer globally, while occupying the 165th position in the 19th annual edition of Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing.
The Lulu Group currently operates 121 hypermarkets and supermarkets across the MENA region and India. According to the National Retail Federation, the group recorded an annual retail sales turnover of $5.8 billion last year. In addition, Lulu has been on an aggressive expansion drive announcing large investments in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia to the tune of almost $1.7 billion.
“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. 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,” states Lulu Group chairman Yususffali MA, while commenting on the Deloitte report.
“Online is another area where we are going to focus more. Our luluwebstore that was primarily into consumer durables and electronics is now selling grocery and food products giving multi-channel shopping experience to our shoppers,” he adds.
Another Middle East retailer, Al-Futtaim Group was ranked at 172nd position. Globally Walmart topped the list with revenues of $485 billion in 2014, followed by Costco Wholesale Corporation and The Kroger Co., both from the US. However, UK retailer Tesco, which announced its worst ever results last year in UK’s biggest retail loss, was pushed to fifth position.
According to the Deloitte report, 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. Despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world’s 250 largest retailers reached $4.5 trillion in fiscal 2014, an average size of nearly $18 billion per company.
Every year Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on publicly available data for fiscal, analysing their performance based on geographic region, primary product sector, e-commerce activity and other factors.