Kampala, Uganda | URN | French retailer Carrefour has opened its first store at Oasis Mall in Kampala, bringing life to a mall that had seen footfall drop in the past few years after losing key clients.
Carrefour is one of the largest supermarket chains around the world and the Uganda franchise is run by Majid Al Futtaim – the sole franchisee that runs Carrefour stores in the Middle East and Africa.
The store is strong on fresh food but also sells other products ranging from wine to electronics and clothing. The store covers over 2,800 square meters in the formerly Nakumatt space.
On Friday December 20, 2019 when the store opened doors, a host of Ugandans were seen entering just to take a curious stroll – some having to purchase at least one product out perhaps to test the service.
John Peter is one such Ugandan. He told this publication that he was impressed by the low prices for most products in the shelves – a promise the store makes in bold posters inside.
Inside the store, they seem to have gotten the lighting concept right. Carrefour store at Oasis is bright with accent lighting. Dark light turns away customers’ mood while in the store.
Bearing in mind that discount alone is not enough to make customers buy, lighting is one of the elements that can lead customers to particular products.
At the pay tills, one has to spend a few more seconds as the people there try to figure out how to slot the payment card into the Point of Sales machine.
Carrefour is expected to open the second store in the first half of 2020 at the refurbished Metroplex mall in Naalya and will be the anchor to that mall, according estate agent Knight Frank.
This year’s opening is a win for Uganda’s retail sector that has been dominated by South Africa’s Shoprite.
In July when the announcement for Carrefour opening was first made, Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim, said they had been “prompted to open in Uganda because of the success they have had in Kenya” and hope that can be replicated here.
The prospect that Uganda will be producing oil in the coming years has created hope that of a huge consumer class that would support such global brands.
Knight Frank said in its half year analysis of 2019 that retail portfolio in Uganda was receiving many inquiries, mainly from international based retailers, with the fashion sector leading the way.