The economic crisis continues to impact the Lebanese retailing industry, with negative value growth in constant price terms seen across all categories in 2022. Consumers are spending much less than prior to the onset of the crisis, with demand centred on the absolute essentials and the cheapest options.
Ongoing economic and financial meltdown continued to plague Lebanon throughout 2022 as consumer spending power deteriorated further. The company’s economy remained mired in the depths of recession as a result of dire mismanagement of the economy before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brutally exposed Lebanon’s structural shortcomings and exacerbated an already unfavourable economic situation.
Informal retailing has exploded in popularity in Lebanon since the onset of the current economic crisis. With household incomes under extreme pressure, it is natural for consumers to turn to informal retailing as a way of minimising the cost of living, with the parallel trade in clandestine imports representing the ideal solution to the problems caused by extremely high inflation.
The outlook for Lebanon’s retailing industry is rather bleak, with negative value growth expected at constant 2022 prices over the forecast period. The ongoing socioeconomic crisis is expected to drive consumers to curb their spending and go shopping less often, with attention likely to be focused on only the cheapest products.
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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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