UAE – Abu Dhabi- based retail conglomerate, Lulu Group, has announced its partnership with Amazon to elevate its reach by creating an online grocery store for its customers in the UAE.

Both Amazon and Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group will work together to give customers a wide selection of products to choose from, which include essentials and fresh grocery items at great prices and faster delivery options.

Customers across the UAE will see the new grocery offering go live in various stages through the Lulu storefront on the Amazon website and mobile application.

With a focus to offer delivery services for both the online and the physical stores to the shoppers, the retailer has also doubled its e-commerce capacity and express bike delivery services in some Lulu branches, including B-Ring Road, Ezdan Oasis, Lusail City, Al Hilal, Barwa City, Bin Mahmoud, Abu Sidra, and Lulu Centre Al Rayyan Road.

Lulu, one of the largest supermarket chains in the Gulf, operates 239 stores in 11 countries and has sourcing operations spanning 23 countries, including the US, the UK, Spain, Turkey, and China.

Moreover,the group is planning to launch an initial public offering next year and has hired investment bank Moelis to advise it on the deal, according to a company representative.

“The market sentiment right now is strong and we are confident about the IPO next year,” V Nandakumar, director of marketing and communications at the Lulu Group.

He, however, did not say how much of a stake the company plans to sell through its IPO or where it would be listed.

The Mena market recorded a 500 percent annual increase in the number of listings during the first six months of this year, with 24 IPOs raising $13.5bn, according to an EY report on the region’s IPOs. In the second quarter of 2022, nine IPOs raised about $9bn.

The UAE was the biggest IPO market in terms of the aggregate value of deals, while Saudi Arabia led the volume with five IPO deals in the first six months of the year, according to EY data.

The moves come as the retail conglomerate is seeking to expand its operations across the Middle East and other countries outside the block.

“Lulu Group is currently on an “aggressive expansion push both in the existing markets and in new countries including Iraq and other countries in the North Africa region”, Mr. Nandakumar noted.

The retailer has expanded its retail footprint with the opening of three new convenience stores in Qatar as part of its expansion strategy, inaugurating the new outlets in Lusail QNB, National Museum, and Ras Bu Abboud metro stations.

Between 2020 and 2023, Lulu Group is planning to open 91 hypermarkets as part of its US$2.9bn investment in its retail network.

Meanwhile, Lulu Group, through its shopping mall and management division, Line Investments & Property, has launched a 1-megawatt peak (MWp) solar carport and 4 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations at its Silicon Central mall in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

The company said in a statement that the solar carport project covers 5,500 square meters and will produce 1.7 GWh of clean energy annually, offsetting more than 1,205 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The carport project was installed by UAE-based distributed solar energy company SirajPower.

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