Preparations are underway for the launch of Qatar’s “largest green store,” which is poised to set a benchmark in sustainability practices and environmental protection in the retail industry, an official of LuLu Group has said.
“I think the most exciting phase for LuLu as a company is the opening of more stores in Qatar. In the past year, we launched successful store openings, but they were smaller in format,” Dr Mohamed Althaf, director, LuLu Group, told Gulf Times.
“The biggest LuLu in Qatar is yet to come; so, we are now getting ready to open some of the best stores in the Middle East. And we plan to start with Abu Sidra, which is a green store; it would be the largest LuLu store in the country,” he stressed.
According to Althaf, the LuLu Abu Sidra store will feature many new departments, and “it is the first store that is now based on sustainability and circularity.” Althaf pointed out that the store was designed to minimise, reduce, and eliminate the company’s carbon footprint in the industry.
“We are going to brand it as the first sustainable store in the region; there are a lot of refilling (zero-waste) stations and many environmentally-friendly practices to be done in the store.
“I hope this store would be a global benchmark in the area of sustainability,” Althaf emphasised, adding that the company will be minimising the use of plastics, switching its focus to use only biodegradable plastics.
He said other LuLu stores slated to open this year, including Abu Sidra “is now ready, and we are just waiting for staff to arrive.”
“Also, our project in Ain Khalid is getting ready, while in Salwa Road, a third project is also ready. At the Doha Mall, we also have a LuLu store inside the establishment. These projects may open in the next quarter, so 2021 is going to be the biggest in terms of store openings in Qatar,” Althaf explained.
On LuLu’s local manufacturing and in-house branding initiatives, Althaf said the hypermarket chain has contracted about 20 products, “but we are attempting to bring it up to 40 commodity brands.”
“They are either at product development stage or on the approval side, while some of them are already available within the stores, so that programme is going on quite well,” Althaf revealed.
On LuLu’s logistics and storage plans, Althaf said: “LuLu has now signed up with Qatar Free Zones; we are now in the design stage. With Manateq, we have warehousing under construction now, hopefully, this year it would be ready.
“The company is now in talks with other entities for the storage of commodities. We want to guarantee food availability in the country as part of our efforts to support Qatar’s food security measures.”
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