By Sunimalee Dias
Modern trading in Sri Lanka is to get a new look with the establishment of hypermarkets in Colombo by Laugfs Holdings by the end of this year.
The company’s SunUp chain of supermarkets numbering 27 is likely to have three hypermarkets in the Western Province with the infusion of Rs.300 million, Laugfs SunUp CEO Ravindra Dahanayaka said yesterday at a media briefing.
He noted that this is being carried out with the intention of moving along with the improving consumer lifestyles.
In this respect the management at Laugfs has aggressively launched into the second format of marketing from the previous 6000 sq. ft. to the hypermarkets that will take up a space of 30,000 sq. ft.
The three hypermarkets that will be established are to come up in Battaramulla, Wattala – Airport road while a move towards Kiribathgoda is still under consideration.
These are set to attract both the walk-in customer as well as those commuting via vehicles with a wide parking space.
SunUp General Manager T. Gunasinghe observed that currently modern trading accounts for 15% of total business in the country and it has been found that within a period of five years there would be a 5% shift of customers from general trade. On average SunUp receives about 16,000 customers.
This has contributed to Laugfs Holdings to take on the decision of establishing hypermarkets in a bid to ensure that they are ready to meet the changing consumer demands.
The SunUp hypermarkets will contain a wide variety of products under one roof with fine dining and salons to all other consumer items set to be available. In this respect, items such as toys, gifts and certain electrical appliances are likely to be directly imported as well.
Commenting on the company’s performance it was observed that while they did do well certain setbacks were also witnessed due to regulatory factors and weather patterns. Moreover, it was pointed out that while the availability of rice is a pre-requisite there was need to ensure it goes on sale even while making losses.
In the future SunUp shoppers will also be provided with a privilege card that would provide them with the ability to avail themselves of discounts at any of Laugfs petrol stations, hotels and supermarkets.
Laugfs SunUp also plans an Initial Public Offering next year to raise funds for further expansion.