UAE-based hypermarket operator Lulu Group said it will invest 10.6 billion dirhams ($2.9 billion) over four years from 2020 to 2023.

The investment will be in 91 new hypermarkets and stores, of which it has already opened 50 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced at the RetailME Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.

“Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, we opened 9 hypermarkets and 2 dark stores in 2020 and 24 hypermarkets and three stores in 2021 – at the height of the pandemic. We continue with our expansion this year despite the challenging environment. We have already opened 14 hypermarkets and 1 store so far in 2022 with 11 more to open by the end of this year,” said Nandakumar Vijayan, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Lulu Group International, said.

For each hypermarket, the company usually invests around Dh125 million, he said.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)