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Oncost Cash & Carry in buy-out bid for Gulfmart
May 5, 2018, 4:56 pm

Oncost Cash & Carry, Kuwait’s first membership-based wholesale store in a retail format, is reported to be in looking to takeover the Gulfmart chain of supermarkets in the country. Retail analysts believe that the buy-out could see Oncost, belonging to Jassim Al Bahar’s IFA Group, increase its synergy through economies of scale.

Given Gulfmart’s existing large retail footprint in the country, combining the strengths of both operations could lead Oncost to realize greater market share and cost reductions.

Though a spokesman for Oncost declined to confirm or comment on the reported bid for Gulfmart, reliable sources knowledgeable about the ongoing negotiations revealed to that Oncost is on the threshold of signing the deal.

The multi-million dollar deal would see full ownership of Gulfmart being transferred to Oncost from its present owners, the UAE-based BMA International. Gulfmart, which began its operations in Kuwait in 1999, currently has over 16 full-fledged supermarkets spread across Kuwait, including prime locations in Shuwaikh, Salmiya, Fahaheel, Abbasiya, Hawally, Farwaniya, Khaitan, Jahra, Salwa and Abu Halifa.

Meanwhile, Oncost Cash & Carry, which began its operations in 2011, has four centrally-located outlets in Kuwait offering customers the benefits of wholesale shopping in a modern retail environment. Oncost is believed to be on an acquisition spree, as part of its assertive new expansion plans to rapidly increase its retail footprint across the country. Meanwhile, BMA International appears to be on a dis-acquisition drive with its food business properties.

Last year, they sold their Middle-East franchise for Geant, owned by French grocery retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon, to UAE-based multi-national conglomerate Majid Al-Futtaim.

Though Oncost Cash & Carry is a slightly different shopping format to Gulfmart’s supermarket style of operations, the combined operations could see customers benefiting from added convenience and top-notch services.

Oncost’s pricing policy has also been constructed to focus on competitive pricing by the unit and wholesale prices by the pack or carton, to pass on substantial savings to its loyal customer base.

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