News From : DagangHalal.com (29 Dec 2009)
FRENCH hypermarket chain Carrefour will be venturing into the heartlands here, by opening six to eight supermarkets and a hypermarket in suburban areas in the next three years.
It will invest more than $84 million in the upcoming supermarkets and hypermarket, which will be located in the northern, north-eastern and western areas of Singapore.
Carrefour Singapore-s assistant operations and merchandise director, Mr Siva Kumar Haridas, said: “We want to reach out to our customers in the heartland and make our stores more accessible for them.
“There are enough customers and ample space in the heartland for us to thrive, and we like good competition. The main thing is that the customers are the ones who will benefit.”
The chain already runs 1,567 supermarkets in Europe, 150 in America and 15 in Asia.
Each supermarket here will have floor areas of around 1,000 sq m to 2,000 sq m – about a third the size of a hypermarket.
Each will stock products based on the demography of its location, 40 per cent fewer nonfood products, and a wider range of disposable essential products such as toilet paper.
Carrefour will also hire more workers to staff its new stores. It expects its number of employees to increase from 800 to 1,600 in three years- time.
All of its new stores will also have halal sections – called Halal Select – in its bakery, butchery and fish departments, which were launched yesterday in its two existing hypermarkets in Suntec City and Plaza Singapura.
Previously, the chain did not stock any halal fresh produce, but decided to do so after receiving feedback from customers.
With the new sections, its tally of halal products will grow by about 32 per cent, from 2,400 to 3,200.
Carrefour expects its proportion of Muslim customers to grow from 7 per cent now to 9 per cent in the next one to three years.
Mr Mohammad Zainal, 36, who is self-employed, said that shopping at Carrefour has improved.
“Even though Muslims are not a majority group in Singapore, Carrefour has launched Halal Select to cater to our
needs,” he said.
“That shows how dedicated it is in providing for its customers.”