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UAE retail group eyes Indian expansion plan

Emke Group, which operates the biggest hypermarket chain in the Middle East under the LuLu and Al Falah brands, is entering the lucrative Indian market by developing the biggest shopping mall in Kochi, in Kerala.

business Updated: Aug 26, 2009 13:19 IST

Emke Group, which operates the biggest hypermarket chain in the Middle East under the LuLu and Al Falah brands, is entering the lucrative Indian market by developing the biggest shopping mall in Kochi, in Kerala.

"Work has already started on the project and we expect the mall to open in July 2011," the group’s managing director Yusuff Ali MA told Gulf News.

The mall in Kochi will have about two million square feet of retail area and following its completion, the group has plans to develop more malls across India gradually.

Emke Group controls roughly a third of the UAE's organised retail market and is planning to invest 4.3 billion dirhams (INR 57.19 billion) to expand its network of 75 supermarkets and hypermarkets to 100 within the next three years.

The company, which opened its 75th hypermarket this month, serves 350,000 shoppers per day.

The aggressive expansion is expected to boost its market share further. The company, which has a footprint in 15 countries in Asia and Africa with interests in manufacturing, garments, trading and shipping, is also making a foray into Egypt by opening a store later this year and a hypermarket due to open in 2010.