Landmark Group, the retail and hospitality conglomerate, has launched Candelite, a first-of-its-kind confectionery and savoury concept in the Middle East.
Poised to expand its presence in the region with an investment of over USD 100 million, Candelite aims to open nearly 50 small and large format outlets in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia by 2012.
Since the launch of Candelite’s first store in February 2011, the USD 3.8 billion, Landmark Group has rolled out four large format stores covering a total retail space of over 12,000 sq. feet. The confectionery concept store has a presence in its large format at the Ibn Battuta Mall and Mirdif City Centre in Dubai, as well as Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi and Ajman City Centre. These are complemented by three shop-in-shop layouts at Sharjah Airport, Iconic at Deira City Centre and Fun City at Bawadi Mall. Additionally, Candelite operates two large kiosks at Oasis Centre, Dubai, and Centrepoint Breakwaters Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi.
Vipen Sethi, CEO, Landmark Group, said, “Our decision to develop and invest in the confectionery and savoury concept comes from the need to fill a gap in the market and bring premium global brands that offer exceptional value for money. The Landmark Group is leveraging its solid retail strength to organise and realise the business potential of this dynamic sector in the region. Candelite is our unique treat to the Middle East consumer and we are confident it will evolve as the preferred choice across all age groups.”
Candelite is divided into eight distinct sections, offering over 2,000 products of 65 popular brands from over 18 countries. The sections include Kiddy Delites, Funky Treats, No-Guilt Options, Classic Delites, Gourmet Room, Snackin’ Around, Gifts Galore and Chill Out Zone.
The Gourmet Room houses artisan chocolates, as well as exotic handmade and organic products such as Rococo and Divan, and the UAE’s signature camel milk chocolates.
The No-Guilt Options section boasts a selection of sugar-free, organic, gluten-free, low-calorie and all-natural products. Brands featured within the section are put through a series of stringent laboratory tests by their manufacturers and certified by regulatory authorities for nutritional value. The range represents almost 10-12 per cent of the collection in the store.
Explaining the rationale behind the brand’s product range, Jani Viswanath, Business Head, Candelite, said, “Extensive research of the confectionery and snack industry has gone into the making of Candelite. We aim to cater to the eclectic choices of the multicultural palate that defines the Middle East region. We have selectively identified brands and products that are healthy, nutritious and offer unmatched taste.”
The Candelite store aims to draw in a wide genre of consumers including children, teenagers, gourmet chocoholics and savoury snack-lovers. Prices range from a modest AED 3 to AED 300. Exotic turkish delight, gourmet biscuits from France, unique snack mixes from the US comprise some of its choicest delights. The store additionally offers an extensive range of sugar free, all-natural, organic and vegetarian products.
Aparna Shivpuri Arya
Aparna Shivpuri Arya is Assistant Editor, Business Group, CPI, Dubai. Before joining CPI, I was working with UNESCAP in Bangkok. I have a Masters degree in International Law and Economics from Switzerland and a Masters degree in International Studies from National University of Singapore. I have worked with think tanks across countries on international trade issues.