Photos by Lesley Walker
The long-awaited new Spinneys supermarket at the Pearl-Qatar is finally set to open its doors this Wednesday – some eight months later than originally planned.
The 4,000sqm grocery store in the new Medina Centrale complex is the chain’s third branch in Qatar and its largest – measuring about four times the size of the existing Pearl Spinneys in Porto Arabia. There is also a small market in the Mall on D Ring Road.
Speaking to Doha News, Spinneys management said the store will open to the public around 1pm on Wednesday, after VIPs visit in the morning.
The larger Pearl store was originally slated to open in September last year, but it only received its trade license from Civil Defense last month.
Marketing manager Iman Ghandour said that due to the short lead time, a number of shipments still need to arrive. With the annual summer exodus around the corner, the shop plans to be fully stocked by September.
The store’s normal opening hours will be 8am to 11pm daily. It will be closed on Fridays for prayers from 11:30am to 1pm.
What’s in store
During a tour this morning, Doha News observed that staff were busy stocking shelves and cleaning.
In addition to the usual facilities, the new Pearl store will have:
- A sushi counter, with tables and stools to sit;
- An in-store bakery;
- A butchery, deli and cheese counters;
- A florists; and
- A coffee shop.
Spinneys will continue to stock a large number of products from UK-based supermarket chain Tesco, along with other imported items from the US, Australia and other countries. It will also carry many lines of popular organic products, such as breads and cereals.
Some new lines of “ethnic foods” from Japan and Mexico will also be stocked at the latest Pearl store, and will be rolled out across other Spinneys shops in Qatar, Ghandour said.
Samsung and Virgin will also have concessions within the store.
Qatar is due to have a fourth branch of the Middle-Eastern grocery chain towards the end of next year, in the under-construction North Gate Mall.
Spinneys also plans launch of an online shopping and delivery service in Qatar. Already established in Lebanon, the spinneysdelivery.com service is being rolled out across the region.
It would be Qatar’s first online ordering and home delivery service for groceries.
In an interview last year with Arabian Business, Spinneys CEO Michael Wright was quoted as saying:
“The infrastructure in Qatar is as such that we can easily make large deliveries and have a much shorter delivery time with a fewer number of customers.”
News of the supermarket’s opening met with anticipation on social media, but has also caused people to ask about progress of other facilities in Medina Centrale.
— Yasser (@Yasser93120) May 25, 2014
— Roula Terzi (@Roula680) May 25, 2014
Although originally slated to open two years ago, the $10 million standalone cinema complex opposite Spinneys still remains shuttered.
Managed by Q.media-owned Gulf Film, it is set to house Qatar’s second IMAX theater and to feature 10 screens, a private lounge and multiple dining options.
A spokesman for the cinema company told Doha News that an opening date will be announced imminently.
Note: Article has been edited to reflect 4th Spinneys store is planned for North Gate Mall and that timeline for delivery of online shopping in Qatar is still uncertain.