Convenience stores rebounded strongly in 2021, as many in the United Arab Emirates returned to corporate offices, where many convenience stores are located. That said, strong growth was fuelled in part by the significant double-digit decline of the year before.
Many convenience stores, such as ADNOC Oasis 365, took the opportunity of less footfall in 2020 and early 2021 in order to implement renovations to shops to modernise and upgrade them. ADNOC Distribution is one of the largest players in the United Arab Emirates in the fuel and convenience stores space, and it has improved its footprint in the country with upgraded stores.
During the pandemic, convenience stores such as Zoom partnered with Instashop so consumers could place their grocery orders through the app. In 2021, similar partnerships were also forged with hyperlocal delivery companies NowNow, Careem and Talabat.
In a bid to be contactless, Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) launched a marketing campaign urging customers to use its cashless and cardless payment platform, accepted across its retail convenience stores. Customers have to download the ENOCPay app from the App Store or Google Play in order to make use of the service.
Zoom convenience stores are expanding their drive-through service. Customers drive up to a digital screen, where they can speak to a Zoom staff member and place their order.
Digitalisation has proven to be essential to cope with the dramatic changes in the retail market, and convenience stores have been amongst the last to engage in an omnichannel approach in order to innovate and gain deeper insights into consumers’ needs. As the United Arab Emirates starts to see economic growth once again, convenience stores that are digitalised will be able to see stronger growth over the forecast period.
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Chained grocery retail outlets selling a wide range of groceries and fitting several of the following characteristics: Extended opening hours Selling area of less than 400 sq metres Located in residential neighbourhoods Handling two or more of the following product categories: audio-visual goods (for sale or rent), foodservice (prepared take-away, made-to-order, and hot foods), newspapers or magazines, cut flowers or pot plants, greetings cards, automotive accessories. Sales data excludes foodservice sales. Example brands include 7-Eleven, Spar. Note: The number of branches required to be termed chained varies from country to country but is usually ten or more. If a multinational is operating in the country, then this is included, even if there are fewer than ten outlets under the brand.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Convenience Stores research and analysis database.
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