Who is Majid Al Futtaim and what is its relationship with Carrefour?
Majid Al Futtaim was founded in 1992 and is the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
It is one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 16 international markets, employing more than 43,000 people, and obtaining the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the region.
Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 26 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region.
The Carrefour brand was launched in the region in 1995 by Majid Al Futtaim, which is the exclusive franchisee to operate Carrefour in over 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
As part of the Majid Al Futtaim retail offering, Carrefour operates over 300 stores in 15 markets -with Uganda being the 16th- across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
What should Ugandans expect from you?
Launching in Uganda is a very important step in our long term ambition of strengthening our presence in the East African region. This has been a moment we have all looked forward to.
Through our operation, we are delighted to partner with local stakeholders to offer a world class retail experience to the Ugandan community specifically tailored to their needs. Such partnerships enable us to create meaningful employment opportunities and fulfil our brand promise of creating great moments for everyone everyday.
We have had a long-term priority focus on supporting local suppliers. This is the same approach we are using in Uganda where over 99% of all the products we stock, will be sourced locally from farmers and manufacturers. Currently we have 260 local suppliers.
This way we are able to offer fresh produce grown right here in Uganda and fulfil our commitment of supporting the communities in which we operate in, with the added benefit of reducing emissions required to import products
What gap did you see in Uganda’s retail sector that you are trying to fill?
It is not really a gap that we are looking to fill but rather we are bringing great offers to the Ugandan customer. Carrefour provides shoppers great value and choice, through a combination of offers and promotions while delivering unbeatable price, quality and its renowned customer service.
Put simply, we are an industry leader in product selection and price guarantee. For the first time, we are bringing our compelling Carrefour offering to Uganda.
Carrefour is dedicated to rewarding its loyal customers and offering access to a unique and pleasant shopping experience through special offers and promotions throughout the year.
Ultimately, our underlying aim is to enable, convenient shopping for our customers with high quality, fresh products and a range wide enough to cater to the community.
Our promise is that we shall always deliver remarkable customer service standards, a more sophisticated shopping experience, and best practice for in-store hygiene processes.
Can I find exclusive services at Carrefour?
Yes. We offer exclusive services to our customers such as 1 hour free parking, price checker inside the stores, exchange & refund policy, home delivery for large & bulky items, price guarantee for the customer in case of mismatch at the cash counter, gift vouchers, shopping trolleys with the baby seats, and dedicated cash counters for pregnant ladies and people with disabilities.
We have seen an influx of foreign owned retail chains opening here but have also seen many of them closing up shop thereafter. Why do you think you will succeed in an area where other big retailers have failed?
For starters, Majid Al Futtaim views its suppliers as partners and has an ethical obligation to locally source its products so that, ‘together, we can build Uganda. We also have the long held tradition of employing and training local staff. Here in Uganda, a majority of the workforce comprise of local Ugandans and we have already employed/ contracted and trained over 180 staff.
We are committed to operating in Uganda for the long term and are happy for the opportunity to help develop Uganda’s retail sector to the benefit of the community. Carrefour is here to modernize the grocery retail sector by bringing international best practices, and delivering the best value products to our customers, as we work to realize our vision of creating great moments for everyone every day.
As a large global supermarket chain, don’t you think your entry in the Ugandan market will force local retailers out of business?
Our aim here is not to push local retailers out of business but rather create partnerships with the local suppliers.
Many of the local retailers will find out that they will be able to supply something to us and that is where we would like to concentrate; to create linkages with the different suppliers along the consumer value chain.
Many large companies set up in developing countries with the aim of maximizing profit and repatriating those gains. Isn’t this just a continuation of this story?
We cannot really speak for other companies but what we can say about mode of operation is that of partnership.
We started locally sourcing from suppliers long before anyone thought it was viable. This is the same approach we are using in Uganda where over 99% of all the products we stock is sourced locally from farmers and manufacturers.
Are your carrier bags bio-degradable?
They certainly are. We care about our environment and that’s why we introduced reusable shopping bags that are exchangeable for free and for life. The objective is to push the consumers to adopt reusable bags and bring back damaged bags in our store.