In 2021, retailing in Qatar has continued to be heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, overall, retailing will see a positive performance as those channels negatively impacted in 2020 will begin to recover as restrictions ease and consumers return to their pre pandemic routines.
In 2021, retail is expected to recover and grow by 6% following the contraction of 7% witnessed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is primarily due to three things.
People in Qatar typically shop in shopping malls, supermarkets and hypermarkets because they are very convenient as they allow one-stop shopping. Many people visit traditional grocery retailers and other street-based shops if these are conveniently close to their home or work, often for emergency purposes or impulse purchases.
Qatar is a small country, with over 99% of the population living in urban areas. All consumers consequently have easy access to the wide range of retail outlets found in the country’s cities.
Qatar and in particular Doha has hugely benefited from the renovation projects linked to the hosting of the World Cup in 2022. Indeed as the majority of the projects come to an end the most crucial infrastructures especially in Doha seem extremely developed.
With strict norms in place for conducting business in Qatar, informal retailing is not prevalent in the country. Informal retailing is regarded as illicit and those seeking to operate in this area are likely to face action from the country’s authorities.
Consumer spending in Qatar is beginning to recover in 2021 as COVId-19 restrictions have been lifted. Likewise, the forecast period will be positive and growth will be driven by the gradual recovery in economic activity, which will spur consumer demand.
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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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