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Sun 26 Apr 2020 02:51 PM

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UAE retailers looking for more government support to mitigate coronavirus impact, says Buz survey

Report reveals large majority expecting 75% hit on business forecast for the year

UAE retailers looking for more government support to mitigate coronavirus impact, says Buz survey

UAE announced a partial reduction in the restrictions on movement in the emirate, which saw the reopening of shopping malls, cafes and restaurants, under strict conditions. Image: Getty Images

Retailers in the UAE want more help from the government to survive the current coronavirus pandemic and come out of the other side stronger.

A survey report from Buz Management & Marketing Consulting (MCC) - UAE Retail Response on Covid-19 – revealed almost a quarter (24 percent) are in favour of tax waivers and 22 percent would like to see discounted licensing fees.

While some retail landlords have proactively offered rent freeze for a set period; according to the survey of 150 top retailers, 37 percent are expecting this support from other retail landlords across different emirates, where their retail stores are present.

On Friday, the UAE announced a partial reduction in the restrictions on movement in the emirate, which saw the reopening of shopping malls, cafes and restaurants, under strict conditions.

Despite this, 75 percent of businesses have already reported a major negative impact as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic, from which, 12 percent said they don’t see a recovery any time soon.

The survey revealed that the businesses reporting a high impact from the measures included clothing and specialty, jewellery outlets, shopping malls, furniture stores, health and wellness and entertainment.

Baiju Kurieash, managing director, Buz MMC, said: “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.”

The expanding global spread of Covid-19 is having a major impact on retail supply chains – 63 percent of respondents, including F&B, health and wellness, entertainment, and electronics, said that there has been a huge impact and are looking at different channels of supply.

While 36 percent, mostly from the clothing and specialty category and beauty, were not disturbed with the impact, and expect a smoother function post the lockdown period.

According to the survey, a large majority of respondents are expecting their business forecast to take a 75 percent hit as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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