Lulu Group, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, unveiled a new shopping complex in Bengaluru on Monday and plans to develop two additional properties in India in the next six months, indicating that the company remains optimistic about long-term retail growth. Lulu Group Chairman and Managing Director M. A. Yusuff Ali told PTI that the company had committed an investment of around Rs 4,500 crore for the development of five shopping malls in India in the first phase of its expansion in the country, three of which have already opened in Kochi, Thrissur, and now Bengaluru.
The Lulu group will manage and operate the 8 lakh square feet ‘Global Mall’ in Rajajinagar, Bengaluru, which the Lulu company does not own.
“We have one large hypermarket in Kochi and one small hypermarket in Thrissur district. This (at Bengaluru) is our third Hypermarket in India,” Ali said, who is visiting India for the launch of the Bengaluru mall.
The Bengaluru mall will also feature a 60,000 sq ft entertainment zone called Funtura and a 2 lakh sq ft hypermarket.
“There has been some delay in our two mall projects at Trivandrum and Lucknow. We will not back off from any projects. We are going forward,” Ali said.
Trivandrum’s upcoming mall will open by the end of this year, while Lucknow’s retail mall will open in the first quarter of 2022.
“In the first phase, we had planned these five projects. The first batch of investment is around Rs 4,500 crore for all these five projects,” Ali said.
The company is looking at new markets in states where it currently has a presence and new states for the next round of investment.
Asked about the outlook on retail business amid the COVID pandemic, Ali said: “Being a retail organization with almost four decades of experience, we have gone through ups and downs. But obviously, the worst is behind us. Things cannot go worse than that. In challenging times, we have to make adjustments and fine-tunes things, but now I can fairly say with the confidence, it is only going forward.”
“Travel restrictions have eased out; people are vaccinated, they are more careful about themselves, people are eager to come out and enjoy and lead the life back. Enough of virtual and digital life. We are seeing tremendous growth potential,” he observed.