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Covid-19 Economy Impact

Bahrain’s in-store retail experience still in demand

Article-Bahrain’s in-store retail experience still in demand

Bahrain Retail
Despite Bahrain’s boost in e-commerce due to covid-19, the in-store retail experience remains important, CBRE survey shows


(Manama, Bahrain) – CBRE, the global commercial real estate services company, said digital transformation in retail has accelerated due to the COVID-19 outbreak – a key finding of its recently released Retail Flash Survey. CBRE’s survey of retailers and F&B operators in Bahrain was conducted from 1st June to 15th June.

According to the survey, more retailers have increased their online focus during the COVID-19 outbreak. Of note, 93% of respondents said they plan to increase investment in online retailing/delivery apps and 75% of them also responded they will increase their use of social commerce. In addition, 33% of respondents stated the pandemic led to digital sales becoming their core business.

Store network consolidation has also become a focus. All respondents stated COVID-19 has impacted their leasing decision making. Notably, 31% of the respondents intend to consolidate their bricks and mortar store networks this year; although, 31% of them also either plan to open new stores or are still uncertain. Meanwhile, 57% of retailers said they have a plan to increase or maintain investment in their in-store experience.

Retailers are experiencing financial stress from the COVID-19 outbreak, as 94% of respondents identified the loss of sales as their top concern. The survey also found 52% of the respondents answered that they expect it will take six to twelve months for sales to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

“Covid-19 has been a catalyst for retailers in the Bahrain market to enhance their digital offering and the results of the survey demonstrate the level of attention and increased investment planned in this area,” said Heather Longden, Director of Advisory & Transaction Services – Bahrain. “The role of bricks and mortar retail continues to be important; however, global trends indicate the use of these spaces will evolve – focusing on the experiential element. In the future, having a variety of sales channels, such as physical, online, and mobile (including food delivery app) platforms effectively integrating to improve customer experiences look to be key in retailer strategies.”

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