The new store is expected to open just before Ramadan…

A Carrefour Hypermarket will replace HyperPanda in Dubai Festival City, it has been confirmed.

Majid Al Futtaim, the owner of the hypermarket chain, said the new store would open just before Ramadan, which is expected to begin at the end of May.

The opening of the Dubai Festival City branch will bring the total number of Carrefour hypermarkets in the UAE to 23.

“Carrefour is proud to cater to the needs of the Garhoud community and the surrounding neighbourhood,” the company said in a statement.

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The new store, spread across 175,000 square feet, follows last month’s announcement that the only HyperPanda in the UAE had decided to shut its doors.

HyperPanda, which is owned by Saudi Arabian company Savola Group, employed more than 300 people, and had been a fixture of the mall since opening in 2006.

However, the growth of e-commerce in the UAE, thanks to better internet access, smartphones and improved delivery infrastructure, seems to have hit traditional retail stores – including hypermarkets like HyperPanda – hard.

The National reported that Savola posted its first quarterly loss in eight years in the fourth quarter of 2016 – a substantial loss of Dhs944 million.

“Due to the rapid deceleration in grocery retail, the performance of these assets fell below forecasts and the inventory purchased in anticipation of these forecasts was high,” Savola said in a filing.

Farewell HyperPanda, hello Carrefour…

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