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Downward spiral

Downward spiral

Walk into one of the discount retail stores in Hamra or Furn El Chebbak and you will end up elbowing other shoppers to reach the display. It is a similar picture if you take a stroll to the Sunday flea market next to the Beirut River, where throngs of people hunt out the best bargains.

Retail highs and lows

Executive sat down with the head of the Beirut Traders Association Nicolas Chammas to discuss the performance of the retail sector in 2014 and what can be done to prevent the country from entering into recession in 2015.    How would you assess the retail sector’s performance in 2014 as compared to 2013? Cumulatively, it

Land of milk and money

Demand for dairy products, milk especially, is surging across the world as a result of changes in global diets and the marketing of its purported health benefits. Global turnover was forecast to reach $335 billion in 2014, based on 5 percent annual growth, driven by demand in Asia and particularly China, which is slated to

Retail slump

Across Lebanon, retailers continue to suffer from the slowdown in the local economy and the dwindling number of tourists from the Gulf, who were typically the sector’s biggest spenders. With the exception of food and staple items, almost all categories of retail have been negatively affected as consumers choose cheaper stores, reflecting their income level.

A bumpy ride

Despite a rocky start, and a few ups and downs early in the summer season, 2014 is shaping up to be a better year than feared by many in the Lebanese hotel industry. With the number of tourists up by 22.6 percent from 2013 in the third quarter of the year, according to figures from

A break in the clouds

Executive sat with the Minister of Tourism Michel Pharaon to discuss ‘Live Love Lebanon’, the latest campaign to attract foreigners and Lebanese expats to the country, as well as the ministry’s views on the tourism season this past summer and its plans for 2015.   What was the aim of the ‘Live Love Lebanon’ campaign?

Local market rules

As another year rolls by with a meager number of tourists, and more young Lebanese leave the country for greener pastures while those who stay complain of empty pockets, Lebanon’s food and beverage (F&B) sector has had to be resourceful as it determinedly weathers yet another storm. The reality on the ground “There is an

Thinking outside the box

By definition, the hospitality sector is reliant on the presence of tourists, and therefore reliant on peace and stability. It is no wonder then that Lebanon’s hospitality industry, in both its hotels and food and beverage divisions, has been only limping along for the past few years. Yet, ever the entrepreneurs, those in Lebanon’s hospitality

Getting hands on

Just as Lebanon’s startup ecosystem is growing, so is the diversity of its funding sources. Abdallah and Ghaith Yafi are the brother duo behind Y Venture Partners (YVP), a new, early stage investment and advisory firm. Prior to starting this venture, they founded Lebanese ecommerce site ScoopCity as well as Canadian ecommerce site TheVolts. Executive

In comes the money

As of this year, startups in Lebanon will no longer have to complain over a lack of investors willing to give them cash in exchange for equity stakes. There are several new venture capital (VC) funds on the block, both from existing players and new ones. While this does not guarantee that entrepreneurs will not

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