International brands withdraw from Lebanon: Famous stores clearing goods

  A sharp slump in sales of popular products (Joseph Eid / AFP)

The withdrawal of global companies from the market reached Lebanese Dangerous levels, with the announcement of a large group of the most famous brands, the closure of their branches in Lebanon, as a result of the policies and practices of the political class based on bad Administration Waste, quotas and corruption, and the economic, monetary and livelihood crises that ensued that affected the flames of "hell" in various sectors.
Some shops that market well-known foreign brands, in terms of clothing, shoes, cosmetics, etc., filtered the goods and offered them at very reduced prices, which caused people to flock to buy them and queues to benefit from the sales, while the other section preferred to reduce the number of branches and close them temporarily pending The picture is clearer until the end of this year.
This scene made the malls and markets spread in major cities, especially the capital BeirutMore like "abandoned" centers of customers and stores. Among the most recent of these brands, Departure, is American Eagle, Victoria's Secret, Claire's, Mothercare, Pinkberry, Louis Vuitton, and others.
The head of the Franchise Licensing Association, Yahya Qasa, told Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that the Lebanese market is getting smaller, in exchange for a significant decline in purchasing power, while the monetary crisis, especially the dollar, is pushing many foreign companies to reposition them, and their accounts, by reducing Shop branches, and studying the brands that are witnessing a decline in sales to stop dealing with them, or the decision to withdraw permanently, pointing out that the trend is unfortunately not sound, and we may witness a wide closing wave until the end of 2020.

One of the leading companies in the Arab region and the agent for about ninety global brands in the retail sales sector is Al-Shaya Company, which, according to Qasa, has closed a number of stores and brands that are no longer profitable, but are still in the Lebanese market. It is known that Mohamed Hammoud Al-Shaya Company is the agent of many brands in Lebanon, most notably, Starbucks, H&M, Mothercare, Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker, Claire’s, MAC, Pinkberry.
It is pointed out, Qasa, that Lebanon was ranked first as a main destination for tourists and the Middle East region, for shopping, and unfortunately due to the deteriorating economic and living conditions in the country, we lost this preference, which began to decline from 2012 to 2019, but with the end of 2019 and the accompanying The intensity of the crises and the chaos of the exchange rate increased, to which the Corona virus was added, and the clothing sector, for example, fell by more than 60 percent.
The luxury brands sector declined in the same period (2012-2019) by more than 70 percent, and since October of last year, the start of the popular uprising, the explosion of the Beirut port, and other political and security events, the loss suffered by the market is estimated by the total size of the seven losses. Years, according to bowl.
He indicates, “About 42 international brands and companies from various commercial and tourism sectors left Lebanon in the recent period, and this shock is very strong, and we are trying our efforts to preserve the structure and keep international brands in the country as much as possible, but if the crisis lasts, the number will increase. Who decide to withdraw. “
Qasa stresses that the return of international brands to the Lebanese market is difficult in the short term, and the main factor in attracting them again lies in restoring confidence, which is unfortunately absent today, in light of an unprecedented economic crisis with its seriousness, especially on the financial and monetary levels, and the chaos of exchange rates That put us in front of three currency rates.
Qasaa deals with the militant role played by the steadfast “franchise” sector despite the storms of crises, considering that the only solution before Lebanon today to advance economically is political, by forming a government capable of restoring the confidence of the international community and the supporting countries, and carrying out reforms that will positively affect the economic situation as a whole. , Which were mentioned in the terms of the French initiative that pledges to help the country and lift it from collapse.

For his part, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ADMIC, the General Manager of City Mall, Michel Abeche, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Lebanon is facing a serious financial economic crisis and a shortage of foreign currencies, and the sector fell victim to banking restrictions that negatively affected exchange Trade between the Lebanese party and international companies.

Abeche indicates that Lebanon relies on importing international brands, while bringing products from abroad has become very difficult due to the lack of dollars to purchase goods, and the chaos of the exchange rate, in fact, imposing higher prices, especially on the level of imported goods, while the ability Purchasing has decreased among citizens, as well as the percentage of sales in commercial stores, whose volume has decreased, between approximately 30 to 40 percent, which inevitably affected international and imported brands, and led to the sizing of the market.
He notes, Abeche, that the results will appear more after the end of the winter season, given that the pre-order for the goods continued during this period of the year, which, upon its end, we will witness a new wave of closures, because there is no liquidity to allow the purchase of alternative goods, especially imported goods, and there is no explicit margin for determining prices Goods in balance with the dollar exchange rate, which varies daily from one market to another, and the absence of consumers’ ability to bear this difference.
Abéché summarizes the scene, with a misperception and assessment of the repercussions of the current crisis on the country as a whole, in exchange for reducing the import market, while Lebanon does not have the ability to manufacture, with the closure of international companies and companies or their branches, which leads to thousands of employees losing their businesses and their livelihood. Which would raise the unemployment rate, or push these people to emigrate, and consequently, the loss of youth energies, which has a negative impact on the incomes of the state as a whole.
He points out that the basic problem lies in making a radical decision to transform Lebanon from a commercial, service and tourism country to an industrial and agricultural country without any parallel financial plan and financing, and unfortunately there are decisions taken by previous governments before the financial and economic crisis reached its current levels, which brought us to where we are today. We hope that the new government will reconsider the sudden policies and improvised and random decisions.

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