KARACHI: Tesco PLC – United Kingdom’s (UK) largest and the world’s third largest retailer in terms of turnover – has partnered with Alpha Supermarkets in Pakistan to launch its food and non-food products in the country.
Alpha Supermarkets has plans to open 50 Express Stores in the country in the next three years, including three flagship stores in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The company has already invested $2 million mainly in its Karachi’s store and it believes the investments will double in the next coming months.
“Tesco will only supply its products to Alpha Supermarkets, with which it has the exclusive partnership in Pakistan,” said Limestone Pvt Ltd Chairman Nadeem Hussain while talking to media at the British Deputy High Commission on Tuesday. “Tesco has not invested anything yet in this partnership, it may invest in the future but any future investment decision is up to its management.”
Hussain said Tesco’s partnership with Alpha Supermarkets is the reflection of its vision about Pakistan, a country which has over 30 million people with significant disposable income.
Pakistan’s middle class is growing fast and so are 3G services and smart phone penetration that are making the country a good place to attract new investors.
Tesco PLC is the second largest employer in the UK, after the government. It has recently increased its market share in the UK from 26% to 28%.
“Pakistan’s retail market is all set to grow faster in coming years. The country’s role in global retail market will also be growing due to its widening middle class and large population,” Director and CEO of Alpha Supermarkets Adnan Hamid commented.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Hamid informed that the company intends to open its second flagship store in Lahore at an investment of over $1 million.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew CMG commented that this partnership between a Pakistani company and Tesco shows the confidence of British investors in Pakistan’s economy.
He said that Tesco is a popular brand and its partnership with a Pakistani player will further improve the economic relations between the two countries.
Head of New Market Tesco Stores Limited Jared Lebel said that Pakistan and the UK have already strong economic links and you will see them improving in the coming years.
Lebel said that his company invests over £1 billion every year to improve its services that it provides in 11 countries across Asia and Europe.
Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi Belinda Lewis said that Pakistan’s image as an investment destination has improved recently, which is attracting UK companies that are looking to investment opportunities in Pakistan.