Metro Cash and Carry International, Germany’s biggest retailer, aims to open around 10 wholesale outlets in Egypt, an investment of up to ?150 million.
It plans to open its first Cash & Carry wholesale store in Egypt by late 2009 at an expected average cost per store of around ?15 million.
Frans Muller, CEO of Metro Cash and Carry International, was joined by Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid to announce Sunday the company’s foray into the Egyptian market in a press conference at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Metro will be the first international wholesale business of its kind to establish operations in Egypt.
“We are delighted with Metro’s decision to enter Egypt and see it as a testament to the strength and competitiveness of the Egyptian economy, Rachid said.
“Egypt enjoys the largest consumer market in the region, the largest skilled workforce and a prime geographic location at the crossroads of Europe and North Africa. We are also the only country in the region to enjoy duty free access to the markets of Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Africa. This makes Egypt an ideal partner for international investors, like Metro, looking to expand into the vast markets of the Middle East and North Africa, he said.
Egypt would be the second country in the MENA region after Morocco to play host to Metro Cash and Carry International.
The company is likely to operate in Egypt under the brand name “MAKRO and will offer a range of up to 20,000 food and non-food products, almost entirely sourced from local producers and suppliers.
Metro Cash and Carry International does not sell to private customers. As a wholesale, business it targets hotels, restaurants, caterers, canteens, as well as medium-sized retailers, institutions, service firms and other companies.
According to Rachid, the impact on the local market will be significant. “The presence of such important international player in the local market will create jobs for Egyptian citizens, improved prices and quality for end-users and give much needed support and exposure to Egypt’s local network of local suppliers, upgrading local SMEs to meet Metro’s standards and integrating them into the company’s global supply chain, he said.