UAE-based supermarket chain LuLu Group said yesterday it plans to invest $200mn on halal-only outlets in Malaysia in the next two years ahead of expanding into other south Asian markets. The five stores in Malaysia will provide direct jobs for 2,500 Malaysians and indirect employment to 5,000, says Yusuff Ali MA, managing director of LuLu Group.
Owned by Yusuff Ali MA, who was ranked first on the Forbes list of the richest 100 Indians in the Arab world last year, LuLu has 110 supermarkets and hypermarkets across the Gulf, Yemen, Egypt and India.
Malaysia, where it plans to open five hypermarkets, will be the group’s first market in South-East Asia.
LuLu signed an agreement with Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), a state-owned development body. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Najib Tun Abdul Razak, who is on a visit to the UAE, was present at the signing.
“With a population of over 29 mn, Malaysia needs quality halal-only hypermarkets and we will be the first to operate 100% Halal hypermarkets there,” Yusuff Ali MA, managing director of LuLu Group, told reporters.
LuLu’s first hypermarket in Malaysia is scheduled to open by the end of 2015. The five stores there will provide direct jobs for 2,500 Malaysians and indirect employment to 5,000, Yusuff Ali said.
LuLu Group also plans to enter Indonesia next year. “We plan to open two hypermarkets initially and later expand,” he said without elaborating. The financing for the retail expansion overseas will be met by the group, he added.
*This article was originally published on Gulf Times on 19 May 2014. Read the original article here.