In the United States, we've seen that almost 630,000 outlets had been forced to close and large department stores like Gap, Kohl's and Macy's are laying off almost all of their employees.
And in the United Kingdom, we saw Debenhams and Oasis have entered administration in recent weeks.
In January this year, one of the biggest threats for the survival of the brick and mortar model of business globally was e-commerce today. Today, it is a global virus that keeps people away from public places; It's also a recession that's dampening consumer spend and purchasing power and an individual's sense of all-round sustainability. Shopping malls in the UAE were shut down on the 25th of March. The malls began partially reopening on April 25th, but shoppers still remain cautious.
Although most consumers weren't affected because of a strong e-commerce infrastructure, a significant number of mainly offline retailers were at risk. This represents an urgent call to action for landlords, and governments to provide a lifeline for struggling malls. Today, we look at the future of retail and how companies can adapt delving deeper into how consumer preferences could further disrupt the retail sector, moving beyond buzzwords, like digital transformation and finding out if shoppers will ever return to malls in the capacity that they used to before COVID.
And joining us today, we have Heba Al Fazari who is the founder and CEO of Coveti. Kristof Lukovich, who is Head of Digital, Beauty at Chalhoub Group. Izabella Naessa, Digital Transformation Expert & Head of Commercial Strategy at GetBEE. Walid Mansour , Managing Partner & CIO of Middle East Venture Partners and Lydia Schoonderbeek, Founder & CEO of Source Beauty.
(Source: Arabian Business YouTube channel)