When Carrefour opened the first of its two projected stores in Fujairah on 15 December 2011 the supermarket landscape in the eastern emirate changed dramatically.
To lure customers through its doors Carrefour launched a Christmas/New Year bonanza claiming, between 15-24 December, ‘Festive Feasts at Low, Low Prices!’
Early in the New Year, after the Carrefour novelty was wearing off it seemed that the Lulu Hypermarket in Fujairah was throwing a counterpunch. From 8th January Lulu produced the first of several editions of its brochures claiming (between 8-17 January) an ‘Offer Like Never Before’.
Lulu staff played down the price war claiming that the specials in Fujairah were also available in all their other stores and that their ‘One Festival Many Offers’ campaign is normal in January and is a promotion timed to coincide with the popular Dubai Shopping Festival.
Newsglobe recently reported (9 January 2012) on a price comparison survey of UAE supermarkets. They compared a basket of food and other household products at these eight stores—Waitrose, Choitrams, Spinneys, Emirates Co-op, Hyper Panda, Lulu Hypermarket, Geant and Carrefour.
In this basket-sized UAE survey Carrefour offered the best value for money, followed closely by Geant, however, in some items other supermarkets were more competitive.
While Carrefour emerged as the winner of this latest contest in the UAE, it is certain that in Fujairah the customers are the real winners that have resulted from the increased competition.
The competition is sure to increase as the supermarkets (including Carrefour) at the Fujairah City Centre open in the first quarter of this year (May?) and Lulu opens its extended supermarket and mall at the end of the year (possibly in November 2012).
Spare a thought for the losers—the small ‘supermarkets’ on the corner of your street who have little advertising power, who give surprisingly low prices, who offer free and personal home delivery and quite possibly are still open when the big hypermarkets have closed their doors.
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