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Retail slump

The economic slowdown is sending shoppers in search of deals

by Nabila Rahhal

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.

The growing numbers of Syrians in Lebanon is a double edged sword, aiding the country’s overall level of spending while causing competition among the country’s retailers.

Yet the situation is not as dreary as it seems, with fast moving fashion items as well as outlet and discount stores witnessing a significant increase in footfall.

All hope is not lost. Retailers are developing unique coping strategies to boost their sales and distinguish themselves from competitors, while also keeping an eye on growth and planning to expand when the situation improves.

In this section:

Laurence Leigh dissects retail trends in “Lebanese fall for ‘fast fashion'”

Nabila Rahhal interviews Nicolas Chammas, head of the Beirut Traders Association in “Retail highs and lows”

“Downward spiral” explains how consumers moved towards discount retailers in 2014

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Nabila Rahhal

Nabila is Executive's hospitality, tourism and retail editor. She also covers other topics she's interested in such as education and mental health. Prior to joining Executive, she worked as a teacher for eight years in Beirut. Nabila holds a Masters in Educational Psychology from the American University of Beirut. Send mail

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