Al Meera unveils big regional expansion plan
Doha, December 12, 2012
Qatar-based Al Meera Holding Company said it has plans to run 38 outlets - including hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores - in Qatar and Oman as part of its agressive expansion strategy besides operating 100,000 sq m of retail space by 2017.
A subsidiary of Qatar-based Al Meera Consumer Goods Company, the firm said out of this four will be hypermarkets, (each covering more than 5,000 sq m), 23 of them supermarkets and 11 convenience stores (less than 500 sq m).
Unveiling the plans, Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Qahtani, the deputy CEO said, “Over the last three years, we have expanded our operations with 14 additional branches in Qatar and abroad, and have doubled our retail area, from 28,000 sq m in 2009 to more than 60,000 by the end of this year."
“In addition we count 20 on-going supermarket projects in Qatar of which at least 10 should open within the coming 10 to 18 months. Through such ambitious organic expansion plan, we reaffirm our intent to remain the market leader in Qatar – our home country - and to operate 100,000 square meters of retail space by 2017,” he stated.
Al Meera, he said, had recently signed an agreement with Omani National Investment Funds Company (Nifco) to buy its 'Safeer' group of stores in the Sultanate.
The purchase includes three supermarkets and two 5,000 sq m hypermarkets. A total of five stores will be operated, two of which are located in the capital, Muscat, with the company actively looking to purchase or lease more properties in the coming year.
As per the deal, the ‘Safeer’ hypermarkets and supermarkets will be jointly managed by Al Meera and Omani National Investment Funds Company.
"With a strategic and aggressive expansion plan set in motion last year, 2012 has proven to be resounding success for Al Meera Consumer Goods Company and all its subsidiaries."
"The company saw a number of MOUs that further reinforced the company’s market position, expanding product offerings and outlets to its customers, and streamlined internal operations. Significantly, Al Meera also extended its footprint to include Oman," he noted.
“Our expansion into Oman capitalizes on the successes we have had in Qatar and transfers it to this regional and important market,” stated Dr Al Qahtani. “This expansion into Oman further diversifies our income portfolio, a value-added element for all our shareholders,” he added.
Dr Al Qahtani pointed out that renovations and refurnishing have already started to ensure that all the 'Safeer' stores are rebranded to ‘Al Meera’ by the first quarter of 2013.
This agreement comes on the heels of the continuous government efforts of both the state of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman to build mutually beneficial projects and increase cross country projects and investments.
“We are proud to say that we are the first physical manifestation of the Qatari-Omani cooperation to date,” remarked Dr Al Qahtani. “It is through wise agreements such as these and high-level support from our leadership that allows companies such as ours to flourish and grow,” he added.
In another development, Al Meera said it has partnered with local firms to enhance facility operations and management.
The company said it plans to set up a joint venture with both Regency Group Holding (a company specializing in facility management solutions) and Aramex International Courier Express, to build and fully manage its own logistic facilities operations in the near future.
“As we move forward with our aggressive expansion plan within Qatar, we are simultaneously aiming to enhance our abilities in developing and managing our own facilities,” said Dr Al Qahtani.
“We are therefore pleased to come into an agreement with both Regency and Aramex to support us in our goal. They are both leaders in their own fields and we look forward to even further developing our relationship with them as we progress through our partnership.”
In the initial stages, a distribution centre will be set up just south of Doha on a 90,000 sq m plot. The centre will be built in several phases, with the first stage seeing a 10,000 sq m warehousing facility being developed, with plans to expand the warehouse by four times in future phases.
The facility will serve to provide a variety of value-added services, including third party ambient temperature warehousing, third party temperature controlled storage, and other logistical services such as domestic trucking, customs clearance, and express and freight services, said Dr Al Qahtani.
"This robust and state-of-the-art warehouse will serve Al Meera’s current requirements, and will cater for future growth as well at competitive rates. Al Meera and its partners will co-manage the design and construction of this and future facilities," he added.-TradeArabia News Service