Retailing has continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Consumers are proving price sensitive and cautious with household spending often directed to essentials, mainly food.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, there have been more cases in 2021, and lockdowns have continued throughout the year. Moreover, there were also short floods in the country, which has negatively impacted the country’s resources and infrastructure.
The shopping culture in Oman can largely be divided between Omani nationals and expatriates with the latter group accounting for almost 37% of the population. It was previously 44%, but since the outbreak of COVID-19, many expats have returned to their home countries.
The average earning capacity for lower and middle management ranges from OMR400-650 per month, with higher-level jobs offering monthly salaries above OMR750. Earning capacity has an impact on the purchasing power of the consumer; however, modern retailers try to offer products at various price points to suit the needs and budgets of different income groups.
Public transport is largely undeveloped in Oman, so most consumers use private vehicles. There is no railway network yet, and the most popular public means of transport are taxis and baiza bus, small buses.
Informal retailing is strictly monitored in Oman, with highly regulated trade laws and retail licensing prohibiting the black market sale of any given commodity. Nonetheless, the country’s informal economy is fed by a number of trading networks.
Over the forecast period, retailing is expected to grow as people are increasingly adopting modern lifestyle habits such as visiting hypermarkets and malls, using their shopping trips as family outings. Other major factors supporting the growth of retailing is the country's rising population, although a decrease in the expatriate population may limit its effect.
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Sales of new and used goods to the general public for personal or household consumption. Excludes specialist retailers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle parts, fuel. Also excludes foodservice, rental and hire and wholesale industries (Cash and Carry). Sales value excluding or including VAT/Sales Tax. Retailing is the aggregation of Store-based retailing and Non-store retailing. Retailing 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, ie retailers operating illegally, and (b) any proportion of sales generated by a registered and licensed retailer which 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 retailing. In relation to click and collect purchases (i.e. where purchases are made over the internet but picked up at store) where the sales data is attributed depends on where the payment is made: If payment is made in store, then the sale is included in store-based sales. If payment is made over the internet, then the sale is included in internet retailing.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retailing research and analysis database.
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