UAE-based retail major LuLu, the flagship supermarket and hypermarket brand of Indian-owned conglomerate EMKE Group, is gearing up to start construction on a 1.2 million square feet mall in Kochi, its maiden project in India.
“Construction will stat very soon, ahead of a scheduled 2009 opening. LuLu will act as the mall’s anchor store with a 200,000 square hypermarket. It will also lease out space for 170 other international and regional brands and a food court,” Yousuf Ali MA, MD, EMKE Group, told Indiaretailing.
It is learnt that the company is also conducting feasibility studies for rolling out malls throughout the country, especially the southern metro cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
“We are not ruling out any of the main cities. The Indian economy is booming and the middle class has never had it better. There are significant opportunities in India and this is the right time to enter the market,” Ali admitted.
Currently, the group operates supermarkets and hypermarkets in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Yemen, and is set to launch operations in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by the end of this year. The company also has big plans for Egypt, Libya and Kenya.
Recently, the company opened its largest LuLu hypermarket in Al Barsha. The Dh205-million project takes the total store number to 58 in the Gulf. “Next year will see nine more hypermarkets coming up across GCC countries at an estimated investment of Dh3 billion,” Ali informed.
The company will also build a trade and marketing mall in the Dhahr Himier area of Sana’a with a total cost of nearly $150 million.
– Vishnu Rageev R, Bangalore Bureau