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Tue 29 Sep 2009 07:38 AM

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One in five UAE retailers see 20-30% sales slide

New survey reveals impact of global economic slowdown on major UAE retail names.

More than 20 percent of major retailers in the UAE have seen sales slide by between 20-30 percent during the global economic slowdown, the results of a new survey reveal.

Consumer spending has fallen over the past few months as personal incomes shrank because of job losses and salary and commission cuts, the poll said.

And 22 percent of the leading retailers surveyed in the country said they had seen a 21-30 percent decline in spending this year, the survey for Emirates Business showed.

"Since the onset of the downturn retail demand has weakened," JP Nambiar, head of retail at Jumbo Electronics told the paper. "Consumers are hunkering down as they try to repair their personal balance sheets."

The survey showed that 38.9 percent of the 18 major retail names questioned put their sales decline at between 11-20 percent, while another 27.7 percent estimated the slowdown in sales at five to 10 percent, the paper added.

Last month, it was reported that a total of 45 percent of UAE consumers were confident the country would emerge from the recession in the next 12 months.

The figure, which comes from the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence report for the second quarter, is an increase of 13 percent, compared to a previous survey conducted in March.

The Emirates Business poll showed only 11.1 percent of retailers claimed to be immune to the slowdown, saying they had yet to witness any cutback in consumer spending.

All retailers polled said they believed the growing number of shopping malls in the country would hit their profitability.

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