Dubai retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim says it plans to open 100 new Carrefour stores in Egypt, which will more than triple the number of outlets of the hypermarket and supermarket chain in the Arab world’s most populous country.
Majid Al Futtaim is the exclusive franchise owner of the Carrefour brand in 38 markets spanning the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The new outlets will add to the 37 Carrefour stores it already operates in Egypt.
To pave way for the expansion, this week Majid Al Futtaim signed an agreement with Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the National Service Projects Organization. It did not give a timeline for the expansion, nor did it provide financial details.
Majid Al Futtaim’s announcement comes as Egypt is seeking to attract more foreign investment as part of ongoing efforts to revive its economy.
The move is in line with Majid Al Futtaim’s previously announced strategy in the North African market, after developing an EGP 23 billion ($1.3 billion) investment plan two years ago. The company’s $722 million Mall of Egypt, a project that falls under its signature brand ‘Mall of’, recently opened in Cairo.
The company’s CEO, Alain Bejjani, recently spoke with Forbes Middle East about his company’s presence in Egypt, where it has operated for 15 years. “Egypt is one of the largest economies in the region,” said Bejjani. “The attractiveness of the Egyptian market is driven by value of population growth and the local demand is actually quite strong. In addition, the majority of population is below 25 so it’s a very strong consumer market. That is one of the pillars of Egypt.”
The move to expand its Carrefour presence in Egypt also continues Majid Al Futtaim’s steady development of the brand in the region. Last year, it acquired Retail Arabia, which owned 26 Geant hypermarkets across the U.A.E., Kuwait and Bahrain. As part of the deal, it announced it would rebrand the Geant locations under the Carrefour name.