HyperPanda closing doors soon

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Staff Report

Dubai – Famous HyperPanda in Dubai Festival City is closing its doors after more than a decade business.

It is estimated that about 400 people work for the only HyperPanda in the UAE. A clearance sale is expected soon.

About three years ago, Azizia Panda United Company, a unit of Savola and now known as Panda Retail, said it would invest Dh3 billion during the next three years to expand HyperPanda in the UAE.

The 175,000 square feet store opened in 2006. Strong dollar and the growth of e-commerce in the country could be one of the main reasons of this closure.

Savola, one of the largest food and retail groups in Saudi Arabia, reported its first quarterly loss in eight years for the fourth quarter of 2016, when it lost Dh944.1 million.

Last year, the group closed 51 smaller Pandati stores as the economic slowdown in the kingdom hit consumer demand.

“Due to the rapid deceleration in grocery retail, the performance of these assets fell below forecasts and the inventory purchased in anticipation of these forecasts was high,” it said in a filing. The company said it would reconfigure its operating model in retail.

In 2016, the UAE had 459 supermarkets and hypermarkets, a figure expected to grow by 7 per cent this year thanks to new shopping malls and the expansion of residential areas.