Lulu Group starts US operations

RetailME Bureau

Abu Dhabi headquartered Lulu Group International further expands its operations by opening food processing and logistics bases in the US. Y International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the group launched its operation in Lyndhurst, New Jersey on November 2, 2016.

The world-class export centre will purchase, process, re-label and export food, non-food, chilled and frozen products made in the US. In the first phase there are 75 employees, which is expected to eventually grow to 200 to 250 employees within a year.

The facility was formally inaugurated jointly by Mayor Robert B Giangeruso, Mayor Michael J McPartland and Vinai Thummalapally, the executive director of Select USA in the presence of chairman Yusuffali MA, CEO Saifee Rupawala, CEO, executive director Ashraf Ali MA and director of Lulu Group Mohamed Althaf,.

Yusuffali thanked the officials of Select USA, Choose New Jersey and State & County officials for their great support in helping Lulu launch their maiden venture in the US.

“In addition to bringing new jobs to our state, Y International’s export centre will give New Jersey and US manufacturers the opportunity to reach new markets in the Middle East and beyond,” says Michele Brown, CEO and president, Choose New Jersey.

The $6.6 billion turnover Lulu Group operates hypermarkets, supermarkets and shopping malls, in addition to wholesale distribution, food processing and hospitality with operations in 37 countries, including the GCC, India and Far East. The company has a 32% market share in the Middle East.

Commenting on New Jersey being a perfect fit for Y International, Brown adds, “Our state is so diverse; we have populations from so many different countries. We felt they would feel both welcome and at home. The business they will be conducting out of this site is meeting American companies to buy goods and products to then export to their own consumer base. We have literally thousands of companies in food in New Jersey.”

New Jersey, Brown said, is also home to companies in the apparel and consumer goods industries, which could serve the needs of the company’s hypermarkets.

“Our group has been importing US products for a long time to cater to more than 700,000 shoppers who come to our 131 hypermarkets daily,” shares Yusuffali highlighting the longstanding relationships between Lulu and farmers and manufacturers in the country, with a special emphasis on California. “There has been growing demand for US products throughout our retail chain stores, across the GCC, India and Far East,” he adds.

As per the latest report by Deloitte International, Lulu is ranked among the top 10 fastest-growing retailers in the world.

An official from the Bahrain embassy in Washington DC, Mohamed Bahzad, said Lulu Group, aside from being successful, also is known for its corporate social responsibility. Bahzad said that a strong relationship with the US is a core strategy for Bahrain, where Lulu is opening its 10th market, and anticipates a market will open soon in the US.