Carrefour Opens First Hypermarket In Alkhobar

RIYADH, 12 October 2006 — Carrefour opened its first hypermarket in the Eastern Province on Tuesday evening. “The new Carrefour Hypermarket in Alkhobar (at Rashid Mall), occupying a shopping space of 10,000 square meters, offers a huge range of world-class products at the lowest possible prices,” said Abdullah Al-Ahmed, Carrefour’s vice president for business development and public relations.Al-Ahmed said that “this the first hypermarket of its kind in Alkhobar, which offers more than 50,000 products including fresh food items, garments and electronic goods under one roof. The store is strategically laid out to enable leisurely shopping and ease of access to merchandise,” said Al-Ahmed, while referring to a number of facilities at the hypermarket especially its large parking space, which can accommodate some 2,500 cars at a time.“This is in addition to 42 check-out counters, which will help fast payment and avoid congestion,” said Al-Ahmed. He said that the hypermarket features the widest choice of world-class brands at the fairest prices and the whole market is manned by some 400 highly-trained personnel. He said that a tremendous customer response was seen on the first day itself and the crowds of shoppers are very encouraging to notice.Referring to the expansion plan of the Saudi Hypermarkets Company (Carrefour) in the Kingdom, he said that three more outlets will be opened in the Eastern Province shortly. The company, he said, has embarked on a major expansion plan to open 21 stores in Saudi Arabia in the next few years. He said that Carrefour had finalized several sites in different regions, including Jeddah, Riyadh, Tabuk, Madinah, Makkah, Taif, Abha, Buraidah and in the Eastern Province.As a global chain, Carrefour is operating some 12,000 branches in 30 countries including the Gulf states, Al-Ahmed said. It has on its payroll more than 420,000 persons today. Carrefour has more than 1,500 employees in Saudi Arabia alone. He said that Carrefour stores had introduced many new concepts for the first time in the Saudi market.The new Carrefour outlets also have a toys corner, a big digital world and game play station areas, where customers not only can buy products, but can also test them and evaluate them properly before purchasing. “We have also tried to enhance the ambiance, the comfort and the looks of the shops with sole aim to make them more customer friendly,” he said. Every few months, Carrefour introduces a new country and highlights its wide variety of products.The Carrefour group is a global supermarket chain. In 2005 alone, it opened 1,394 new stores across the world and its sales grew by 6.1 percent, up from $95.2 billion to just under $101 billion.The group has said it is looking at store expansion to fuel future growth. It currently has some 20 stores in the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

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