Africa & Middle East news & analysis

15 May 2020
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance has announced it is to increase the rate of value added tax (VAT) to 15% from 1 July 2020 as it looks to respond to the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. VAT change comes relatively soon after introduction Saudi Arabia only introduced VAT in 2018 and so the tripling to 15% is expected to likely to affect consumer spending in the mediu...
14 May 2020
South Africa-based Pick n Pay said Group turnover rose 4.7% in its full year to 1 March 2020, despite the challenging operating environment. The retailer reported group sales of ZAR89.2 bn (US$4.8 bn) for the year. It highlighted the growth in its home market, where turnover grew 5.1% and comparable profit before tax rose 15.2%. Strength of performance for operations in South Africa… Pick n...
19 March 2020
Suppliers are reacting quickly to support health and medical services fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as helping provide shoppers with products that help them too. LVMH to produce hand sanitiser free of charge for hospitals Due to the shortage of hand sanitiser gel in France, LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault, has asked the group’s health and beauty factories to start producing h...
24 February 2020
UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), which operates the Carrefour banner in 16 countries as of February 2020, has reported full year results for its 2019 financial year. The company said revenue at its retail division rose by 1% to AED28.1 bn (US$7.6 bn), while EBITDA rose by 2% to AED1.4 bn (US$381.1m). Expansion underpinning growth… MAF said the results came ‘ despite a reduction in discreti...
12 February 2020
Governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are encouraging retailers to increase the number of sustainability schemes they implement. Single-use plastic reduction has been a common environmental initiative and many retailers have implemented schemes that aim to reduce, recycle or reuse single-use plastic whenever possible. What is the South Africa plastic pact? The Worldwide F...
10 February 2020
INTERSPAR Austria has announced its trialling refill stations for organic detergents, which highlights its environmental commitments. Meanwhile, SPAR Hungary is improving its sustainability initiatives by introducing new concepts. Finally, SPAR Zimbabwe reflects on its 2019 expansion projects. INTERSPAR Austria trials refillable detergent units SPAR Austria has launched a plastic reduction ...
29 January 2020
Majid Al Futtaim has signed a partnership deal with Takeoff Technologies, which will see the latter’s micro-fulfilment centres added to Carrefour stores in the UAE and Saudi Arabia by 2021. ‘Several’ micro-fulfilment centres to be built Announcing the partnership, Majid Al Futtaim said it build ‘ several ’ micro-fulfilment centres, without giving a firm number. Takeoff Technologies’s automa...
15 January 2020
South Africa-based Woolworths has appointed a new chief executive, Roy Enzo Bagattini. He will take charge of the company from February 2020. New chief executive joins from Levi Strauss Bagattini is presently executive vice president and president for Levi Strauss Americas. He oversees operations that generate about US$3.0 bn in revenues, which is about half of what Woolworths Holdings does...
13 January 2020
As Saudi Arabia enables shops to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and Al Meera rolls out a range of initiatives, we round up news from the region. Saudi Arabia to allow shops to open 24/7 Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Interior has said commercial activities will now be able to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The acting Minister of Municipa...
10 January 2020
As UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim expands into Uganda and online specialist Vuba Vuba launches in Rwanda and Kenya-based Nakumatt takes a further step towards liquidation, we round up news from the region. Majid Al Futtaim opens first Carrefour in Uganda Majid Al Futtaim has opened its first Carrefour hypermarket in Uganda, in the Oasis Mall in Kampala. The store, which is about 2,800 sq. m, st...