MUSCAT: UAE-based Lulu Group, which runs the Lulu chain of supermarkets, has climbed in the latest edition of a list of the biggest retailers in the world.

The company, headed by Indian Yusuffali M A, was ranked 183rd in the 2013 list of the 250 biggest retail businesses published by Deloitte, up 14 places compared to the previous year.

Deloitte said the retailer averaged compound annual growth rate of more than 18 per cent between 2008-13. It added that the group’s revenues in 2013 was estimated at US$5bn, up from US$4.5bn in the previous year.

Lulu Group is the only entry from the Middle East in the global 250 list, which was headed by US giant Walmart whose revenues in 2013 were put at more than US$476bn. The group is set to open 15 new hypermarkets in UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, KSA, Egypt in the next few months. Lulu has earlier announced its plan to open hypermarkets in Malaysia and Indonesia, thus setting its foothold in the far east asia.

Deloitte said the top 250 global retailers generated revenue of US$4.4tn in 2013, each with an average size of more than US$17.4bn.

Its 2015 Global Powers of Retailing, Embracing Innovation report added that revenue growth for the top 250 retailers, which began declining in 2011, continued to slow in fiscal year 2013. According to the report, sales-weighted, currency-adjusted retail revenue growth was 4.1 per cent for the top 250, following a 4.9 per cent gain in fiscal year 2012. Herve Ballantyne, partner and consumer business leader at Deloitte Middle East, said, “The sluggish global economy in 2014 left many consumers financially constrained and retail sales under pressure. Thus, the prosperity of the global retail sector in 2015 will very much depend on the economic stability of several of the largest economies.

“Despite the recent fall in oil prices, there is little evidence at this stage that it will negatively impact consumer spending in the Middle East. Although European grocers might be slowing expansion, no such problems are affecting those in the Middle East.”

SOURCE: Muscat Daily