Research and marketing consultancy, BUZ Management & Marketing Consulting’s (BUZ MMC), interviewed over 150 top retailers of UAE on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their business. The survey report – ‘UAE Retail Response on COVID-19’ covers the impact on the industry and provides an in-depth understanding of their current sentiment and a quick guide on how these businesses are planning to respond.
“We have been talking to our retail sector clients about the impact this pandemic may have on their business and how can this be minimized. More importantly, we are learning how to prepare for the longer-term effects and ease the shorter-term shocks. Opening up the economy with an emphasis on safety is a must, and our retail partners are investing all their efforts to adhere to the best practices, as the industry will grow out of this pandemic in the times to come,” says Baiju Kurieash, Managing Director, BUZ MMC.
According to the ‘UAE Retail Response on COVID-19’ survey, 75% of the businesses reported major negative impact, out of which 12% of the retailers don’t see recovery anytime soon. Most of the businesses that reported high impact were from sectors including clothing and specialty, jewellery outlet, shopping malls, furniture, health& wellness, and entertainment.
The rest of the 13% reported a moderate impact and forecasted a possible recovery within the coming quarter.
With falling brick and mortar sales and increased online competition, some retailers are expecting this gap to further widen post the lockdown period.
63% of the respondents said that there has been a huge impact and are looking at different channels of supply. The affected categories include F&B, health & wellness, entertainment, and electronics.
While 36% of the respondents, mostly from the clothing and specialty category and beauty were not disturbed with the impact, and expect a smoother function post the lockdown period.
65% of the respondents also confirmed they will consider retail events such as Eid, Back to School, fall, or winter as part of their new plan.