Forging Forward

by BTM

Wed, 05 September 2018

Forging Forward

Carrefour Bahrain’s country head, Jerome Akel, talks shop and the rapid expansion of the business.

Carrefour, one of the world’s favourite household retail brands, has made its mark in the Kingdom with 12 stores. “Seven of these are hypermarkets and five are supermarkets,” says Jerome, who heads operations in Bahrain. “Majid Al Futtaim Retail is the exclusive franchisee of the Carrefour brand in 38 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.” The two biggest branches are the sprawling outlets at The Bahrain Mall and at City Centre Bahrain. Both stores cover an area of over 10,000sq/m and offer much more than just food products, including textiles, home accessories and a wide range of electronics.

A giant conglomerate based in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim has transformed the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. Over the years, it has grown into one of the most respected and successful businesses in the region, spanning 15 international markets. 

“Majid Al Futtaim Retail acquired 30 stores from Retail Arabia in 2017, 10 of which were in Bahrain under the Géant and Gulf Mart brands,” explains Jerome. “This acquisition has enabled a wider outreach and has further established our positioning as one of the largest grocery retail operators. We are on schedule with the rebranding, and integrating the look and feel of the stores. We will continue to roll out our expansion plan and will announce updates on our milestones in due course.” 

On what makes Carrefour a favourite over other similar retailers, Jerome says: “As a Majid Al Futtaim business, we ultimately focus on creating great moments for everyone, every day. For Carrefour this means offering its customers a choice of more than 75,000 food and non-food products as well as its own extensive branded range of more than 1,100 items, and all at competitive prices. We pride ourselves for the freshness and quality produce extending across an array of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, fish and baked items, combining both local and imported products. Our Healthy Kitchen offers a wide array of the best health products from organic to free-form, to diet and fitness food at very competitive prices.”

Besides this, the brand’s MyCLUB loyalty programme gives patrons incentives by way of access to exclusive deals and discounts, providing for an unrivalled customer experience. This goes a long way to make it a much-preferred shopping destination. 

The 12th and latest outlet is the one at the swanky new Oasis Mall in Juffair. Jerome says: “This store is part of our strategy to get closer to our customers’ doorsteps. We are pleased to cater to the growing demand and provide our customers with the convenience they seek for their day-to-day shopping. Here, one will find a range of food and non-food products. The outlet has been designed with the environment in mind, and includes special freezer cabinets that not only increase food safety, but also reduce power consumption.”

Business-wise, Jerome has had a smooth ride in Bahrain. “We are very grateful for the support and guidance we are getting from the government of Bahrain and the authorities as well as our business partners,” he says. “We are also proud of our team, who take in customer feedback and are committed to consistently provide unmatched customer service to make shopping at Carrefour a great experience. 

“We are always looking for opportunities to serve our clients and deliver an unparalleled range of high-quality products at competitive prices that Carrefour customers have come to know and expect.”

"We are pleased to cater to the growing demand and provide our customers with the convenience they seek for their day-to-day shopping".