By Samihah Zaman gulfnews.com
Groceries as well as the retail sector across the emirate of Abu Dhabi will soon be modernised as part of a comprehensive plan introduced by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) on Saturday.
Speaking to Gulf News about the new initiative, Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, director of communication and social services at the ADFCA, said it would create an advanced set of standards for groceries in the emirate.
“The plan will review the location of groceries so that they are placed for the maximum benefit of customers and neighbourhood residents. It will also revamp the way in which items are displayed, as well as standardise requirements for location and shape,” Al Reyaysa said.
He added that the plan, which is in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, will be implemented in phases, with more details to be disclosed later this year. “The initiative will focus on groceries within Abu Dhabi island, and initially seek to create awareness among owners, operators and residents to avoid confusion among them,” he said.
Abu Dhabi City currently has 1,300 grocery stores in residential and commercial areas. These groceries tend to stay open for 16 hours daily, and serve an average of 150 customers every day.
According to a government-commissioned study conducted recently, customers prefer to shop at groceries because of their proximity and also because of the provision of home delivery and sale-on-credit services. The study concluded that the grocery sector would benefit if uniform standards were put in place.
Rashid Mohammad Al Shariqi, director-general of ADFCA, said that residents in the city spent about Dh3.4 billion on food, beverages and other consumer goods in 2010, out of which small groceries accounted for Dh1 billion of the sales.