April 8, 2013

Food retailer Spinneys outlines online expansion in Middle East

Lebanon-based food retailer Spinneys is outlining plans to launch e-Commerce business in territorial markets across the Middle East in 2013.

By admin-demo

Lebanon-based food retailer Spinneys is outlining plans to launch e-Commerce business in territorial markets across the Middle East in 2013.

The chain is planning to launch its online retail services in Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt to further its brand positioning in the markets.

Spinneys CEO Michael Wright stated that the chain would initially unveil the e-Commerce business in Lebanon by May 2013, reported Arabian Business.

"Because we have a lot more resources in Lebanon, we trial everything in Lebanon and then roll it out to the other countries from there," revealed Wright.

"It will be before the end of the year in all the other countries."

The expansion is understandably on the back of 20% growth to $1bn in revenues in 2012 across its operating markets.

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Spinneys, however, is planning to customize its services based on the markets.

The chain will target high-end customers, delivering the products from the stores to the customers’ doors in Qatar.

Meanwhile, in other markets where it plans to cater to larger customer base, the retailer is likely to open a network of distribution facilities to reduce the delivery time.

Wright added, "The infrastructure in Qatar is as such that we can easily make large deliveries and have a much shorter delivery time with a fewer number of customers.

"In Egypt, we’ll have to have hub-and-spoke, so we’ll take the product into sub areas [because] you can’t send the truck backwards and forwards in the high traffic."

Nevertheless, Spinneys is also keen on expanding its physical store footprint, as it is seeking investment for conventional retail real estate for the next 12 months.

It is set to launch two stores each in Qatar and Lebanon with a total investment of $30m, alongside additional stores planned for Egyptian market with expectations to launch services by 2015.

Stating that the success of the chain depends on balance between online and physical stores, Wright added: "Part of it is the offering inside the shop, it’s the loyalty, how we tailor the promotions to the individual consumer and then deliver it to them when they wish to have it delivered.

"It dovetails into the whole way we’re changing our business," concluded Wright.