(MENAFN - Arab News) The popular Tamimi supermarket chain yesterday unveiled an aggressive expansion program while the opening its first superstore in Hofuf.
"By 2020, we plan to open 50 new Tamimi stores across the length and breadth of the Kingdom," said Fawaz T. Tamimi, head of the group's business development division.
"We are delighted to have come to Al-Hasa with our unique concept," he told Arab News. "Tamimi Markets should have been here 20 years ago but since we were preoccupied with opening news stores in Alkhobar and Riyadh, we couldn't focus on Al-Hasa."
He said Al-Hasa has immense potential because of its large population, rapidly developing tourism industry and frenetic construction activity. "There is a good niche for Tamimi Markets and we have, therefore, decided to launch our second store in another two years," said Tamimi. "It will be located on the road that leads to neighboring Qatar."
Tamimi said his group received positive response from civic and government officials and prominent Hassawis. "They were more than nice to us and this really was a big incentive for us to set up our business in Al-Hasa," he said.
The SR 56 million store, spread over 3,500 square meters on Khalid bin Walid Street in Hofuf's Al-Salam district, was inaugurated by Mayor Fahd Al-Jubair. He welcomed Tamimi's long-awaited entry into Al-Hasa. "As a mayor of Al-Hasa, this is a proud moment for me because Tamimi's arrival will provide a big boost to the region's business environment," he said. "Tamimi is a very big name and it will naturally prompt other chains and brand names to set up their businesses in Al-Hasa."
Al-Jubair said Tamimi can expect to make good business with its excellent store. "We are talking about 1.5 million people, and this is a large and growing market and this store's success will, Insha'Allah, lead to Tamimi opening more branches," he said.
Al-Jubair was accompanied by Deputy Mayor Adel Al-Mulhim. Tamimi Group's executive management, including Fahd Al-Tamimi and Hisham Al-Tamimi, took the guests on a tour of the new store.
According to General Manager Mohsen S. Husain, the Al-Hasa store has best of all concepts that Tamimi Markets has to offer. "This store has more than 40,000 grocery items and more than 500 items in produce department; it features full deli; we have a full bread department where we have machinery that is capable of processing about 300 bags of flour to do bread," he said. "Each flour bag weighs 40 kg."
He said Tamimi has the advantage of being a highly visible and credible supermarket chain. "We have been operating in the Eastern Province since 1979; the people of Al-Hasa tend to naturally gravitate toward Tamimi and we have had a lot of customers from Al-Hasa at our branches in Alkhobar. They have been very vocal in wanting to have Tamimi in Al-Hasa. And so we responded to that demand and here we are," said Husain.
Magdy Espetan, support services manager, said the new store will have an all-year-round dedicated promotion section. "This will be our highlight; it is a new concept for Tamimi, and we think it will work very well in Al-Hasa," he said. "What we do is we take basic items that customers buy, such as rice, oil, sugar, flour, tea, and we take those commodity items or what we call daily use items, and create a big section for that and we promote them by featuring them on our flyers with special in-store prices," he said.
In terms of size, the Al-Hasa store is about 1,000 square meters less compared to Tamimi's iconic store on the Alkhobar Corniche. "Nevertheless, this is a very large store and we feature all the departments that we have at the Corniche, including the healthy living department. The Al-Hasa store has everything that the Alkhobar Corniche store has to offer and perhaps more," said Husain.