luluKUWAIT: The Deloitte released their 19th annual edition of Global Powers of Retailing. It identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on publicly available data for fiscal 2014 (encompassing companies' fiscal years ended through June 2015) and analyzes their performance based on geographic region, primary product sector, e-commerce activity and other factors. See link below: Walmart topped the list with revenue of $485 billion in 2014, followed by Costco Wholesale Corporation and The Kroger Co., both from the US. However, UK retailer Tesco which announced its worst ever results last year in UK's biggest retail loss was pushed to 5th position.

Middle East retail major, Lulu Group is ranked as the 25th fastest growing retailer in the world and ranked 165th in the Top 250 Global Powers of Retailing while another Middle East retailer, Al Futtaim group(Carrefour) was ranked at 172nd position. Lulu which currently operates 121 hypermarkets and supermarkets across the MENA and Indian recorded an annual retail sales turnover of US$ 5.8 billion last year, according the report published by the National Retail Federation. Based on the robust results, LULU has been on an aggressive expansion drive announcing large investments in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi, India, Indonesia and Malaysia to the tune of almost US$ 1.7 billion.

Deloitte said in its report that most emerging markets suffered as capital outflows put downward pressure on currencies. This led central banks to raise interest rates, thereby dampening growth. During this period Brazil and Russia fell into recession, but India's economy accelerated, helped by lower energy prices and an easing of monetary policy. IT also says that that despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world's 250 largest retailers reached $4.5 trillion in fiscal 2014, and an average size of nearly US$18 billion per company.

Reacting to the Deloitte report, Yususffali MA, the Chairman of Lulu group said "I am very confident of the regional retail market and like in the past, will not slow down our expansion plans. The current negative sentiments on the market are temporary phenomena and companies with strong fundamentals and long term vision will march ahead. Next two years are very crucial for us as we embark on new markets of Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia while strengthening our presence in the GCC and India." "Online is another area where we are going to focus more. Our luluwebstore which was primarily into consumer durables and electronics is now selling grocery and food products giving multi-channel shopping experience to our shoppers" Yusuffali added.