Dubai; The Carrefour UAE portal has been upgraded into a full-scale online marketplace, which means that it will now be competing against the likes of Amazon and noon.
In the initial push, some Majid Al Futtaim’s mall tenants have already joined the platform, including Borders, LUSH, Tavola, Arabian Oud and Jacky’s. (Last week, tenants at The Dubai Mall were given the option of selling through noon.com.)
Majid Al Futtaim mall tenants who have signed up for the new marketplace get commission-free transactions during April and 30 days free last-mile delivery. Commission-free transactions will remain in place throughout May.
The Majid Al Futtaim group owns and operates the Carrefour franchise in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East.
“Through this Carrefour-enabled marketplace, we are replicating our traditional shopping model, where grocery retail and lifestyle brands are brought together in one location and customers can access everything they need,” said Alain Bejjani, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim.
While this new destination is digital and is here to stay, the current situation highlights the true value of shared experiences in the physical world and we look forward to welcoming customers back to our assets soon.”
Online retail in the UAE has had a good five weeks or so, as more shoppers gravitate towards purchases done from the safety of their homes. Carrefour UAE, along with peers in the online grocery space, were among the easy winners as transaction volumes soared.
But the shift to a marketplace comes with risks – for one it immediately increases the number of products and categories that the portal will need to offer access to. It expands the list of suppliers, and even in categories for which Carrefour is not the first choice with shoppers now.
However, given the kind of growth online is having, the marketplace shift gives the retailer/Majid Al Futtaim group the flexibility and space to chase its goals.
According to Bejjani, “The new business environment that we are operating in is challenging us all to find solutions that benefit our partners, communities and society at large. We are working o support our stakeholders’ needs today, while putting in place initiatives that keep the economy moving and prepare us for tomorrow’s world.
“While this new destination is digital and is here to stay, the current situation highlights the true value of shared experiences in the physical world and we look forward to welcoming customers back to our assets soon.”
* Aramex is the logistics provider for the marketplace's sellers.
High stock levels
The marketplace now lists more than 250,000 products, with “sales increasing by more than 10 times in the last 10 weeks. It averages more than 1,300 daily orders.