Carrefour region's top retailer

Carrefour has been named as the Middle East's top hypermarket operator in the latest ranking of Top 30 Middle Eastern and African retailers from Planet Retail, a UK researcher specialising in global retail trends.
Carrefour, which ranked eighth in the overall Middle East and Africa list, was followed closely by its archrival Casino, the region's ninth biggest player.
Carrefour, a French retailer that is operated by Majid Al Futtai Group in the Middle East, has achieved rapid growth in recent years by continuing to roll out new stores in and beyond its GCC stronghold, targeting countries such as Kuwait and Jordan, while at the also extending its network in Saudi Arabia and UAE, according to Planet Retail.

However, while Casino has a presence in Africa via franchise agreements and also has plans to open about 16 Géant stores in Saudi Arabia via its new franchise partner GSL, it is unlikely to overtake Carrefour.
"If Casino's hypermarkets are to threaten Carrefour's ambitions for dominance in the region, a surge in openings is needed," said Oliver Heins, a retail analyst at Planet Retail.
"Casino's campaign has lost impetus in countries such as Dubai where there have been no further openings since a Géant store opened in the Ibn Battuta Mall in March 2005."
Local Middle Eastern retailers Emke Group and HyperPanda has also performed strongly in the region in the past year, and appeared in 12th place in the Top 30, after expanding its Lulu hypermarket concept in the UAE, Yemen, Oman and Kuwait.
Market entry into Saudi Arabia will be achieved this year, with plans for up to eight stores in the medium term, according to Planet Retail. KSA-based HyperPanda, in 13th place, is also becoming a major contender, with a target of 25 hypermarkets and 100 supermarkets in Saudi Arabia by 2010.
"Latest sales data for Africa and the Middle East continues to highlight the fragmented nature of the region's retail market. In 2006, the region's Top 30 grocery retailers accounted for just 29% of overall modern grocery sales in the region, compared with 59% in Western Europe," Heins said.
"The region's more lucrative markets, especially in the Gulf, is contributing to higher levels of concentration. Domestic and international retailers have established a growing presence in the Gulf due to high levels of spending, relative political and economic stability and a greater demand for modern shopping facilities and international products." Source

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