Abu Dhabi mulls new groceries plan
Abu Dhabi, April 30, 2011
A comprehensive plan to develop the retail stores sector (grocery stores) in Abu Dhabi is underway, details of which would be disclosed later this year, said a top official.
The plan envisages sea changes to the sector, bringing benefits to all stake holders, such as consumers, owners, operators and neighborhoods in which grocery stores are located, added Rashed Mohamed Al Shariqi, director general of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA).
Al Shariqi said the modernization of the retail and grocery sector was very much a part of ADFCA's endeavors to achieve Abu Dhabi Government’s Vision. The changes will necessitate the sector to adopt global food safety procedures in the running of groceries more rigorously.
"The most important function of grocery stores is meeting the daily needs of consumers for foods and food products,” Al Shariqi said.
“A recent Government of Abu Dhabi – assigned study by an agency on the retail sector in the city concluded that Abu Dhabi residents had spent about Dh3.4 billion ($925.6 million) in the year 2010 on food and beverages and other consumer goods, out of which small groceries accounted for Dh1 billion," Al Shariqi pointed out, explaining the context of the proposed changes.
The study revealed that there are about 1,300 grocery stores in the city, with an approximate size of 45 sq m. Open for 16 hours and serving roughly 150 customers of varied nationalities and backgrounds a day, most grocery stores are located in residential or work areas in the city.
Their proximity coupled with services such as home delivery and sale on credit make them an attractive option for the consumers. This dynamic sector stands to gain much if they uniformly implement global standards in their services, the study suggested.
"Our initiatives for the grocery sector are aimed at further improvement in standards. ADFCA has conducted a field survey on grocery stores in Abu Dhabi, the date from which will be used in putting together a new set of standards and incentives,” Al Shariqi said.
“Once implemented, the new standards will give the customers improved shopping experience, while the owners and operators will have better and more lucrative business opportunities," he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service