Gulf Marketing Group has announced the acquisition of supermarket chain Geant, marking its entry into the food retail category in the UAE.
Géant is part of Groupe Casino, a French retailing giant with a turnover in excess of EUR35 billion. GMG is acquiring Géant’s current UAE retail footprint from Urban Foods by Dubai Holding. This will include a total of 18 hypermarket and supermarket locations across the UAE, with the new openings featuring some of Groupe Casino’s other brands such as Franprix and Monoprix, to which GMG will also have exclusive rights to expand.
“This acquisition is a milestone in our history as we venture into the food retail category. In doing so, we are able to cover the entire consumer journey from food manufacturing and distributing to retail. Moreover, the diverse portfolio of Groupe Casino’s supermarket brands will allow us to cater to all categories of consumers, from the price-conscious to those desiring more premium and specialty products,” said Mohammad A. Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG.
Last year, GMG announced the redesign of its business into four verticals: GMG Sports, GMG Food, GMG Health, and GMG Consumer Goods. The latest acquisition falls under the GMG Consumer Goods vertical, bringing the total workforce to over 700 employees. Meanwhile, GMG continues to grow its original food brands Farm Fresh and Klassic, as well as being a distributor for popular food brands such as McCain, Mama Sita’s, and Shan.
“Our acquisition comes at a time when the Middle East’s food economy is undergoing a major transformation. Consumer preference has shifted to locally-sourced food items and sustainable food options, while governments are simultaneously exploring ways to enhance food safety and promote food security in line with their national development visions. In the coming years, our intention is to cover the entire food consumption chain from farm to fork” Baker adds.
The Géant deal follows another high-profile GMG retail acquisition of Royal Sporting House in 2020. Recently, GMG also acquired the rights to manage, distribute, and retail the Nike brand in Egypt and Iraq starting in Q3 2022, contributing to a diversified sports portfolio that already covers over 400 stores across the MENA region and Asia.
Euromonitor International has noted that grocery retailing in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region has traditionally been underdeveloped, with its per capita value remaining below the global average. However, over the past five years there has been substantial growth potential for grocery retailing, with MEA set to become the fastest-growing region globally. The worldwide grocery retail market is predicted to generate an additional USD440 billion in sales between 2020 and 2022, according to insight provider IGD.
To date, GMG has introduced more than 120 brands into its markets. The company announced plans last year to double its global workforce by 2025 as part of a revitalized business strategy that reiterates its objectives to promote healthier and more active lifestyles.
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