Convenience 'driving customer buying behaviour'
Dubai, March 19, 2010
SouqExtra!, a pioneering lifestyle supercenter model, said convenience is a key element that is driving today's consumer buying behaviour in the UAE.
SouqExtra! said its retail concept was built around the concept of convenience and had been able to identify and move in line with current market trends favouring local convenience stores.
Citing a recent report by Business Monitor International (UAE Food & Drink Report Q1 2010) SouqExtra! said convenience store sales in the UAE were predicted to outperform the wider mass grocery retail sector (MGR) over the next four years, increasing by more than 50 per cent to 2014 to reach Dh430 million ($117 million).
The MGR sales are also set to see steady growth – following a sharp drop from double-digit growth in 2008 to low single digit growth in 2009 – with total sales expected to hit about Dh7.28 billion by 2014, said a top official.
“The SouqExtra! retail concept is built around the concept of convenience. We identified the trend towards community stores located in close proximity to residential developments quite early on, and this movement in the market has driven both, the choice of product and service outlets to be included in our retail model, as well as our location strategy,” says Saleh Abdullah Lootah, managing director of SouqExtra!
“People increasingly show a preference for making a quick stop at neighbourhood stores to pick up their daily needs rather than bulk-buying of food items, or use various facilities such as banking services in the proximity, and we are very pleased that SouqExtra! could identify the current market trends and give customers what they want,” he noted.
The chain of national supercenters opened its first outlet at Ewan Residences, Dubai Investments Park, in Q4 2009, and has since enjoyed a very positive response from the local customer base.
SouqExtra! Ewan Residences welcomed 50,000 shoppers in its first month of operation and has since launched an innovative community bazaar concept and various community-centric activities that have met a positive reception by its core customer base.
'We are experiencing keen interest from retailers looking to lease space in our upcoming centres and the leasing process for our second SouqExtra! outlet in Al Ain is progressing steadily.'
'The report results only confirm the tremendously positive response we have witnessed to date from both, the local retail sector and target consumer groups and the strength and viability of our concept for the future,” he added.
SouqExtra! is the name of neighbourhood community-focused centers, with integrated primary services such as high-end grocery, kids’ play area, fast food outlets, coffee shops, full-fledged gymnasium, salon, photo shop and community hall, all designed to help the community meet their daily needs.
The confidence in this new retail concept is confirmed by the number of reputed investors who have invested in SouqExtra!, which include the Lootah Group, Emirates Post Group, National Bonds Corporation, Bonyan Holding, Abbasi Group and a number of high net worth individuals, Lootah said.-TradeArabia News Service