Majid Al Futtaim digitises Carrefour shopping, plans automated warehouse

Carrefour now has one digital platform that integrates over 100,000 products on its website, in-store kiosks and tablets, and mobile app, and will automate its back-end logistics to support it.
The new system is a continuation of the Scan&Go initiative
The new system is a continuation of the Scan&Go initiative

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Majid Al Futtaim is spearheading the digital transformation of the region’s US $313 billion retail market with a new omnichannel e-commerce platform that will enhance Carrefour customers’ shopping experiences online and in-store.

Carrefour now has one digital platform that integrates over 100,000 products on its website, in-store kiosks and tablets, and mobile app, developed by global technology company SAP.

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“The Middle East retail sector is experiencing seismic changes, which is a major opportunity to enhance our customer experiences with real-time insights,” said Marco Antonio Urios, senior vice president, Omnichannel Solutions and Supply Chain at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

“As part of our vision of creating great moments by offering inspiring experiences, our digital transformation with SAP enables our customers to order online or from our mobile app and have them delivered to their doorstep,” he added.

Abdullah Saqqa, head of customer experience, SAP Middle East and North Africa (left) and Marco Antonio Urios, senior vice president, Omnichannel Solutions and Supply Chain at Majid Al Futtaim Retail (right).

The move comes in response to what Majid Al Futtaim calls a sea-change in the Middle East retail sector. As more malls open, the GCC’s retail sector will grow by 25 percent to US $313 billion by 2021, according to Alpen Capital.

Online shopping revenues are also increasing. Deloitte projects the Middle East e-commerce market will triple to US $49 billion by 2021.

In 2018, Majid Al Futtaim launched the Carrefour digital platform, running on the SAP Hybris solution, now called SAP Commerce Cloud, in Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the UAE.

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This year, Majid Al Futtaim plans to extend their services across more markets it operates Carrefour in.

The company also launched an express online one-hour delivery service, CarrefourNow; Scan&Go - enabling customers to scan and pack products as they shop the aisles for seamless in-store shopping; among several other omnichannel digital solutions for in-store and online shopping.

“Majid Al Futtaim demonstrates how a home-grown UAE brand can compete on a regional and global level thanks to the power of digital transformation and e-commerce innovation,” said Abdullah Saqqa, head of customer experience, SAP Middle East and North Africa.

“As an Intelligent Enterprise, Majid Al Futtaim is transforming customer experiences to allow customers to purchase the products that they want from anywhere, at any time, and from any device,” he added.

On the sidelines of the announcement, Urios told Logistics Middle East that the CarrefourNow fulfilment would be operated across the network of stores that Carrefour operates in the region, but that in time it would be brought under the responsibility of Majid Al Futtaim’s back-end logistics operation.

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“We have the new Distribution Centre in Dubai and we will be incorporating some level of automation into its operations to increase volume and efficiency for e-commerce in the coming year,” he said.

“However, we will also be launching a new fully automated warehouse in Dubai in 2019, which will be solely for the e-commerce fulfilment,” he said.

While Urios said that further details on the new warehouse would be revealed in the coming months, a video shown to journalists during the media event for the launch of the SAP digital platform suggested the new automated warehouse would have a MHE system similar to Swisslog’s CycloneCarrier and AutoStore solutions.

A representative for Majid Al Futtaim told Logistics Middle East that no individual vendor has yet been selected for the automated warehouse project as it was still in the planning stages.

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