Five decades of excellence

March 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau

Rajiv Warrier, Chief Executive Officer, Choithrams

Since the launch of its first store in the UAE five decades ago in 1974, grocery retail chain Choithrams continues to make significant strides towards growing its brand portfolio, strengthening channels and embracing sustainability and technology in its operations.

Choithrams UAE Over 50 Years:

  • Choithrams was one of the earliest go-to-places for grocery shopping in an organised format in the UAE, an exclusive destination for several imported brands.
  • Commenced distribution of food FMCG brands in the 1970s.
  • Introduced online grocery shopping in the UAE in 2015.
  • Adopted technology (SAP) to increase efficiency and productivity of the business, as the company moved from being a feelings-driven organisation to fostering a data driven culture where relevant data enables more informed decision making and planning.
  • Some years ago, Choithrams invested time and resources in significant organisational restructuring to improve communication, drive transparency, enhance productivity and employee development.
  • Customer service has been a key theme for Choithrams all through its 50 years of operation in the UAE.

Looking ahead towards the next 50, asked about a word that will dominate Choithrams’ journey, Chief Executive Officer, Rajiv Warrier said, “Looking at the next 50 years, one word that will be central to our business is sustainability. By that I mean sustainability of the business; of our stakeholders including suppliers, customers, bankers, employees and shareholders; of ideas and their execution; and of the community and the environment.”

Brand promise for 2024 & beyond

Growth Outlook: Online shopping will continue gaining traction and dark stores will become an important sales and delivery channel for grocery shopping in 2024 and beyond. Choithrams will align its growth strategy with these trends. Additionally, generational inclusivity in the workforce will be a big focus area for Choithrams.

Food Security Commitments: Choithrams commitment to advancing food security in the region is underpinned by five key strategies. Foremost is to maintain a substantial stock of essential commodities at its central distribution centre, ensuring a reliable supply chain. Simultaneously, it upholds the highest standards of food safety. Choithrams’ proactive approach extends to robust measures designed to curtail food waste, from meticulous inventory controls and stock rotation to innovative display strategies. Education forms a crucial aspect of its initiatives, informing customers about the paramount importance of food safety and the reduction of food waste. Choithrams continues to form meaningful collaborations with local and international organisations, fostering a united effort towards promoting food security across the region. What’s more, Choithrams is a strategic partner of the UAE Food Bank, fostering a resilient and secure food environment for the community.

Sustainability Goals: Aligned with the UAE’s net zero goal by 2050 Choithrams has undertaken significant steps to implement eco-friendly initiatives such as reducing plastic waste, water and energy consumption. Some highlights include:

  • Transitioned from conventional power to renewable energy at its main distribution centre in Al Quoz.
  • Undertakes proactive measures towards waste recycling drives in collaboration with Dubai Municipality and waste management expert Dulsco.
  • Collaborates with local farms to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Offers customers a wide selection of eco-friendly products through its Sustainable Living Kiosks.
  • Continues to drive UN Sustainable Development Goals while supporting communities in vulnerable situations.

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