Qatar’s affluent population makes the country an attractive prospect for international retailers, especially given the popularity of shopping as a leisure activity and the preference for global brands. However, the country’s low population and the fact that the retail industry is already well-developed means that growth potential remains limited.
Qatar’s highly developed infrastructure and extremely affluent and free-spending population have proven very attractive to key foreign retailers, most of which are currently looking to expand their operations in the Gulf state. However, Qatar’s compact size and small population mean that there is only so far that this expansion can go before saturation point is reached and this has led to a cautious highly targeted approach to the development of the country’s retailing industry.
Informal retailing is not prevalent in Qatar and this is largely due to the strict enforcement of clearly stated norms for conducting business in the country,. In addition to being unattractive for Qatar’s affluent and demanding consumers, informal retailing is regarded as risky due to its illicit status and the strict enforcement of rules and regulations that apply in Qatar.
Qatar’s retailing industry is slated for steady and solid sales growth over the forecast period, a performance which is set to be supported by the very strong prospects for positive economic growth and favourable demographic trends. Specifically, the numbers of middle-income and high-income consumers are expected to increase during the post-pandemic era, with Qatar set to remain a highly attractive country for international retailers due to high average income levels.
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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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