It’s Ramadan. Everyone’s hungry and a bit dizzy. So it’s it’s time for another Jordan retail update (here’s a previous post on the matter).
So, finally, the Carrefour sign is going up, as its host, City Mall is nearing completion. Carrefour typically open stores that are 20,000 square meter or more. So expect Carrefour to take up a good part of the mall.
This is the first international Supermarket to come to Jordan since the early nineties, when Safeway opened (they subsequently existed the market, but the Jordanian owners kept operating under the name anyway. The issue was settled later and the Kuwaiti Sultan Center took over).
Carrefour is a global giant. They are entering Jordan on their own (as far as I know there is no Jordanian partner involved). When I wrote about this subject lat April, one Jordan based American blogger said “just wait until Walmart comes to town, then no one will stand a chance”. Well.. Carrefour is here first and, you might be interested to know, Walmart just had a huge setback in Germany. It’s exiting that market with huge losses. So for now it’s the Europeans who are invading the Jordanian (and Middle Eastern market).
The City mall was supposed to open last September, but ran into some delays. I personally expect it to be finished by the end of this year, and my guess is that we’ll be seeing a new year’s opening. It will have an oval shaped atrium and underground parking. Brand expected to be there are the Zara/Massimo Dutti/Pull and Bear group, Virgin Megastore, the french bakery/cafe Paul and many many other brands that will fill up the mall’s 160,000 square meters (a list of brands can be found on the mall’s website).
The other day I went to Mecca mall and was quite shocked at the number of new outlets in the new extension. And the mall was quite full. I am having a love-hate relationship with malls. I hate them because of their isolation from the urban fabric and their overtly artificial environments. I love them because they are the only places (other than downtown) where you can see masses of people engaging in a ‘civic’ activity, albeit in the confines of a private space.
Notably, a villa that used to stand beside Mecca Mall is GONE. From what I understand, Mecca Mall will be expanded AGAIN. Amazing. There is obviously still demand for retail space in Amman.
One thing I still need to check out (only out of curiosity) is the new Mukhtar Mall on Sport City circle. It’s a small one and described as being more of a neighborhood mall.
Also coming online soon is Al Istiklal mall. The mall phenomena is going east. I expect it to be a success judging by how many Apartment buildings have sprung up around that area.
People just love malls. We can intellectualize and talk about the loss of urban fabric as long as we want. But its hard to beat the air-conditioned, clean, dazzling and secure experience of a mall.
Retail spaces are also on the menu of other real estate developers. In Suweifieh there is a lot of building activity going on. In Abdoun, near Blue Fig the Tajamouat real estate development company is building an interesting mall under than name Taj.
Is the market getting over-saturated? I don’t know. But for now, the mall business model seems to be working in Jordan.
Read these related posts on 360east:
- When did Amman’s shop signs loose their beautiful lettering
- Cozmo vs Safeway: the Jordan retail revolution
- Amman, the ugly. Amman, the beautiful..
- Amman’s old downtown signs are gone! (but I managed to photograph a few)
- CBS 60 Minutes exposes Israel’s settlers: The first cracks in the wall of Israeli propaganda?
Bookmark this post on your favorite bookmarking service