Iraq’s retail industry has continued to expand and develop during the post-pandemic era, with buoyant global oil prices, rising levels of FDI and substantial improvements in retailing infrastructure amidst booming post-conflict redevelopment all playing a major role. Growth in the affluent, sophisticated urban middle class also bodes well.
Retail spending remained under pressure in Iraq during 2022, although value growth returned to positive territory for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main reason for the underwhelming performance recorded in Iraq’s retail industry in 2022 was political and socioeconomic instability.
Informal retailing has remained a major presence in Iraq since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to ineffective political control and lax enforcement of regulations, the high cost of setting up a store-based retail outlet has pushed many would-be formal retail businesses into the virtual realm, with informal e-commerce having taken off substantially during 2020 and 2021.
A moderate positive performance is slated for Iraq’s retail industry over the forecast period. This is set to be due mainly to population growth and improvements in the economic and security situation in many parts of the country.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Retailing industry in Iraq with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Retail is the sale of new and used goods to consumers from a business for personal or household consumption from retail outlets, kiosks, market stalls, vending, direct selling and e-commerce. Retail is the aggregation of Retail Offline and Retail E-Commerce. Excludes specialist retailers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle parts. Also excludes fuel sales, foodservice sales, rental transactions, and wholesale sales (e.g. Cash and Carry). Sales value excluding or including VAT/Sales Tax. Retail also excludes the informal retail sector. Informal retailing is retail trade which is not declared to the tax authorities. Informal retailing encompasses (a) sales generated by unregistered and unlicensed retailers, i.e. retailers operating illegally, and (b) any proportion of sales generated by a registered and licensed retailer that is not declared to the tax authorities. Unregistered and unlicensed retailers operate predominantly (although not exclusively) as street hawkers or operate open market stalls, as these channels are harder for the authorities to monitor than permanent outlets. Activities in the illegal market, which is usually understood to refer to trade in illegal, counterfeit or stolen merchandise, are included within our definition of informal retailing. Activities in the “grey market”, which is usually understood to refer to trade in legal merchandise that is sold through unauthorized channels – for example cigarettes bought legally in another country, legally imported, but sold at lower prices than in authorized channels – will be included as informal retailing if no tax is paid on sale by the retailer. However if the retailer pays tax – for example on cigarettes bought legally in another country but sold at a lower price than standard – the sale is included within formal retail.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retailing research and analysis database.
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