As Qatar prepares to host the first carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup of its kind, LuLu Group is set to establish more of its next-generation and carbon-neutral stores across the country, chairman Yusufali MA told Gulf Times.
“The world is rapidly changing towards digitalisation, new transformations, and innovation, so we have to keep pace with the market demand. This is why we have introduced a wide variety of sections in our new stores.
“We will also upgrade our previous hypermarkets to become ‘green stores’,” he explained yesterday on the sidelines of the opening of LuLu’s 18th store in Qatar, located in the Ain Khaled district.
According to Yusufali, LuLu is targeting a “massive expansion” plan. He said LuLu was able to open four stores during the pandemic, citing the “wholehearted support” extended by the government and Qatari leadership.
Aside from its expansion plans, LuLu will continue to offer a wide range of premium products, good pricing, and quality service, Yusufali emphasised, adding that the Qatari market is a major contributor to LuLu’s expansion growth.
Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Group International, also stressed that the Ain Khaled hypermarket is among LuLu’s next-generation stores. “In all our stores, we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint. By 2030, our target is to reduce the carbon footprint by 50%, and going forward it would be carbon neutral,” he explained.
Yusufali added that before the 2022 FIFA World Cup, LuLu will be opening three more stores in Qatar.
The LuLu Hypermarket Ain Khaled branch offers different key features, such as Planet Y, making LuLu the first retailer to open a vegan hypermarket destination with a service counter entirely dedicated to plant-based products with meat-free options and meat-free butchery. Planet Y makes it easier for vegetarian and vegan shoppers to find plant-based groceries in one place.
The new store has a dedicated Refill Station area where shoppers can buy refillable containers, use a paper bag, or bring their own container. Customers can refill products, such as tea, cereals, pasta, and other essentials. The initiative will encourage customers to reduce and recycle. Major brands like 24 Matra, Organic Tattva, Agrofino, Somerset, White’s, and Pasta Toscana are currently available in the refill aisles.
The ‘Free From Worries’ section offers the very best products sourced from around the globe. Customers can also find items for specific diets, including keto, gluten-free, and vegan, among others.
LuLu Ain Khalid is also the go-to for smart home accessories. A smart home means a smarter and more comfortable lifestyle. The ‘Thing’ section, LuLu’s IoT department, helps customers wanting to update, upgrade, and convert appliances and homes to be energy efficient.
Similarly, the store has a dedicated branded digital marketplace – ‘LuLu Connect’, for digital accessories, laptops, smartphones, smart TVs, smart home appliances, and more.
The store is also implementing full-fledged recycling initiatives to efficiently manage and recycle food, plastic, paper, and other wastes generated. As part of LuLu’s ongoing efforts and commitment to sustainability, the hypermarket chain has installed a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) to encourage and educate customers on segregation and the recycling of plastic bottles and metal cans.
Other amenities being offered at the Ain Khaled branch are ‘Fashion-forward Glamour’, value for money LuLu fashion brands, a dedicated area for eco-friendly products, the ‘STEMtainment’ section for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) toys, and the Juice Station, which offers fresh, fruity, and healthy juices.