Convenience to drive customer buying behaviour: SouqExtra!

Published March 14th, 2010 - 02:45 GMT

SouqExtra! says convenience – a factor identified early on by the community supercentre and a key element shaping its retail concept – is driving consumer buying behaviour in the UAE.

A recent report released by Business Monitor International (UAE Food & Drink Report Q1 2010) states that convenience store sales in the UAE are predicted to outperform the wider mass grocery retail sector (MGR) over the next four years, increasing by more than 50% to 2014 to reach AED430 million.

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 AED7.28 billion by 2014.

“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 convenience stores to pick up products that meet their daily needs rather than bulk-buying food and household items, or to use various services such as banking and beautification services in the proximity, and we are very pleased that SouqExtra! has been able to identify as well as move in line with current market trends and give our customers what they want,” added Lootah.

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,” adds Lootah.

SouqExtra! is a pioneering lifestyle supercenter model, representing an innovative retail concept shaped by extensive research into outlet positioning as well as the quality and variety of services offered. SouqExtra! has put in place a strategic plan to open 75 outlets across the UAE and the Middle East over the next 10 years.

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.

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