The Egyptian government’s recent economic plans encourage investments, according to Hossam Talaat, CEO of Masader International Trading, which owns the right to franchise Ace stores.
Talaat believes that, recently, there has been a relative slowdown in the rate of economic growth in Egypt, but the government’s encouragement was apparent in the March Economic Summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh. However, the investment laws the government is preparing will improve the market situation, especially as Egypt has a big market with a population of almost 90 million.
According to Talaat, the current situation encouraged the company to pump new investments into the Egyptian market, through gaining the franchise of the US chain, Ace. The US company has more than 4,000 branches worldwide in more than 70 countries, and sells all household products, including equipment and appliances.
In a statement to Daily News Egypt, Talaat said the company plans to invest the rest of the EGP 1.2bn within the next seven years to open over 30 branches in the country, under the name Ace. The expansion plans will go through several phases: the first phase will cover high-density population governorates like Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria. The second phase will cover some Delta governorates, while the last phase will cover Upper Egypt.
Regarding his vision to compete in the Egyptian market, he said that most commercial franchises in the Egyptian market do not meet house needs in a specialised way. On the other hand, food and beverage-related products have the biggest share in their activity, while the Ace franchise specialises in all home needs with the exception of food and beverages. In addition, Ace provides their customers with technical support through experts who explain to them how to best benefit from the items they purchase.
“We plan to implement 50% of our investments within the first five years, and we aim to open our new branch early next year. The average space of each branch is between 1,500 and 5,000 metres,” he said. On Monday, the company opened the first branch of Ace franchise in Egypt.
ACE Hardware was founded in 1924, Chicago, Illinois, by a small group of hardware store owners. Ace changed the nature of retail business by allowing store owners to buy wholesale and save money through buying with the lowest prices possible. This concept enabled small merchants to compete in retail, despite the presence of large stores in the market.