,United Arab Emirates

Sharjah Coop is setting new examples for hypermarkets and omnichannel strategies in UAE

One of the company’s keys to success is to innovate in line with evolving community needs.

Sharjah Coop kept its teams busy with multiple initiatives in 2020, and thus was a pioneer to swiftly adapt to new shopping behaviors amidst pandemic restrictions. 

At the recently held Retail Asia Awards 2021, Sharjah Coop won Hypermarket of the YearUAE, Omnichannel Strategy of the Year - UAE, and CSR Initiative of the Year - UAE.

Traditionally, the UAE retail market is dominated by brick-and-mortar stores. Online contribution to total sales hovers around a measly 1%-3% range, based on numbers from leading physical retailers in the grocery and FMCG space such as Carrefour, Sharjah Coop, Union Coop, and Lulu. 

E-commerce’s unprecedented rise in 2020 motivated Sharjah Coop to also up the ante for customer satisfaction in the omnichannel space. This was coupled with the launch of state of the art Rahmania Mall Hypermarket in Apr 2021. Located in the city of Sharjah, the Rahmania Mall is Sharjah Coop’s first hypermarket with a dining area as well.

Rahmania Mall hypermarket features, amongst others, a hydroponics section, the first retail store to do so in the entire Sharjah emirate. Customers enjoy a unique and unparalleled vibe in this store as Sharjah Coop uses unique props like trucks and tuktuks across different sections. The store also allows customers to self check-out, reducing the need for face-to-face transactions.

Sharjah Coop’s omnichannel strategy also gives customers a seamless experience to customise their shopping journey – be it online to offline or offline to online. Whether this means ordering online or on WhatsApp and having the items delivered or picking them up at a store of their choice, customers have several options at their disposal. Not only that, whatever option they choose, customers enjoy a unified price strategy across all channels, including their recently launched MobiCoop, a ‘shop on wheels’ that aims to reach customers in remote locations.

The company’s proactiveness and willingness to innovate led to a 7% YOY sales revenue growth in 2020, a 200% increase in e-commerce YOY revenue, and a 13% increase in their market share.

Despite all of its achievements in the retail space, Sharjah Coop remained rooted in the community it serves. In 2020, the company launched several CSR initiatives in response to COVID-19 pandemic and the destructive Beirut city explosion. One such initiative involved a distribution of AED 7 million (~USD 1.9 million) worth of ‘Ramadan Meer’ to various charitable institutions, in the form of food baskets and food assistance.

Sharjah Coop in partnership with Arada and Red Crescent sent a total of 65 tons of food in response to the ‘Salam Beirut’ initiative, which responded to the devastating explosion in Beirut on 04 August 2020. Additionally, Sharjah Coop partnered with the Big Heart Foundation and donated AED 1.5 million (~USD 410,000) to the Salam Beirut Campaign.

With schools closing, Sharjah Coop knew students needed distance learning support. As such, the company provided tablets worth approximately AED 60,000 (~USD 16,300) to the students of Al Amal School for the Deaf. 

Other initiatives include food support of as much as 15 tons to Abu Musa island residents and partnership with Sharjah Roads & Transportation Authority to deliver 4000 orders during the most severe of the lockdowns.

With a stellar performance across financial, innovation, and CSR pillars – Sharjah Coop left a deep and lasting positive impression amongst all stakeholders – the customers, the vendors, the employees, and the community at large!

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning projects:

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