Dubai: The Dubai Mall is getting a hypermarket, with Lulu Group opening a 72,000 square feet retail spread at the world’s biggest shopping destination with 100 million visitors a year.
This is Lulu’s biggest in-mall hypermarkets across its network, and the look and feel will be quite different from the previous ones. Lulu is also going all hi-tech at the new locations, offering shoppers to do self-checkouts or stick with being billed at the counter by a staff member.
“The Dubai Mall given its status as the most visited shopping destination seemed a perfect choice for us to experiment with hybrid payment options for shoppers,” said Salim M.A., Director of Lulu Group at Lulu. “Self-checkouts will smooth the process of shopping at the location, especially one with such dimensions.”
All told, there will be more than 5,000 SKUs (stock keeping unit) at the store. And that's sizeable.
We have seen the growing demand for internationally sourced products and specialty range based on food trends from around the world
Also, being a tourist magnet, Lulu is factoring in the chances that many of the shoppers would have experienced self-checkouts in other markets.
In another move away from the past, Lulu will not be having any apparel or accessories as part of the merchandise. Instead, there will be a bigger than usual food area, and with upscale in-store café and dining options.
“The emphasis with our Dubai Mall food counter is to serve up the freshest, and offer shoppers the option to have their meals right there,” said Salim. “We had to keep in mind that The Dubai Mall clientele can be vastly different to the typical mall visitors in the UAE. Our merchandise mix and the in-store features reflect that.”
The heavy tourist numbers the destination attracts will also be reflected in the choice of merchandise, according to Lulu officials.
"That translates into specialty food, organic, vegan, and even 'free from range'," said Salim. "Of course, there will be diet food options for the super-health conscious. We have covered for all possible tastes." (Free from range means food without dairy, gluten or nuts in the mix.)
Consolidating its Dubai presence
With the newest addition, Lulu has firmly entrenched itself across a network of mall locations in Dubai. In addition, there was the opening of its own shopping destination at the Silicon Oasis. Across Dubai, it now has 24 store locations.
“Optimum coverage in each of the emirates is what we are working towards,” said the Lulu official. “With Dubai Mall, we are closer to the finish line in meeting our targets.”