Companies to merge and begin operating as a single entity within next six months
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 25: OnCost Cash and Carry, the first wholesale membership retail store in Kuwait, announced last week that it had acquired Gulfmart, the well-known supermarket chain that has been operating in Kuwait since 1999.
Announcing the change in ownership, the Chief Executive Officer of OnCost Cash and Carry, Saleh Al-Tunaib, said that once the transfer of shares process has been completed , Gulfmart and OnCost would merge and begin operating as a single entity within the span of the next six months.
“Once the take-over process and merger of both companies are completed, Oncost would have a total of 20 branches spread across the country. Over the next five years, we plan on increasing the number of branches we own to 35, and look forward to entering the Saudi and the UAE markets through strategic partnerships with professional retail groups in those countries,” said Al-Tunaib.
He also pointed out that with the acquisition of Gulfmart, the total market share of Oncost in the local food market would reach 4 percent, which he aimes to increase further in the future.
Oncost, with its distinctive strategy of selling products to customers at wholesale prices in a household focused retail environment, has a pricing policy that focuses on competitive and wholesale prices. Elaborating on the pricing policy, the CEO said, “We have a good, better and best pricing strategy that makes our product assortment to everyone. In addition, our free membership program, which now has over 80,000 members, provides cash rewards of up to 4 percent of purchase value to subscribers. In addition to the weekly offers throughout the year that provide great discounts .We also launched our website in 2017 where customers can place their orders and expect free delivery anywhere in Kuwait within three hours.” Detailing the genesis of the company and its unique business model, Al-Tunaib said,
“Oncost was established in 2010 as Kuwait’s first professional membership based wholesale center. It was a natural development that leveraged our strength in owning slaughter houses and operating Kuwait’s Central Vegetables and Fruits Market in Sulaibiya. We opened our first branch in Alforda Market and became the first central market to provide everything and anything from fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, to household cleaning and washing products to customers at wholesale prices all under one roof.
“What makes us stand out from other central markets in Kuwait is our focus on wholesale shopping in a household focused retail environment for on an efficient assortment, while providing those selected products at the best, fair and competitive prices in the market. For instance, while others might provide 8 to 12 different types of bottled water, we offer only 3 or 4, but at prices that range from low to high. Our focus on wholesale purchases attracts different sections of customers, including companies, families, and even individual shoppers.
Moreover, we also serve the HORECA sector and are affiliated with around 500 companies to whom we provide imported or local food and other products. “In addition to our brick-and-mortar stores, we also have a ‘Baqal’ service that receives and delivers online orders from customers exclusively through the Talabat or Baqal mobile app.
This service, which has nearly 30 delivery vehicles, promises to deliver orders within a maximum of 30 minutes of placing the order.” Clarifying the rational behind acquiring the Gulfmart brand, with which OnCost is reported to have been negotiating for almost two years, Al-Tunaib said: “There are very few suitable real estate locations for central markets in Kuwait, and this was a hurdle to our expansion plans.