Lebanon Businessnews News

Retail: 15 percent increase
from last year’s holidays
Foreign expenditure to improve five percent
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The retail activity is currently witnessing an outstanding increase. According to Simon Khoury, CEO of CityMall, there is a 15 percent increase in the retail activity of the mall in December, compared to the same month last year.

This week, around 40,000 visitors have entered CityMall per day. “We are expecting to reach higher numbers during the holidays,” said Khoury.

Jamil Rayyes, General Manager of Hamra Shopping & Trading Co, owner of Grand Stores, said: “Retail activity improved to a large extent before the holidays.” He said that sales increased a lot compared to previous months.

“We are expecting that this positive environment will continue to influence street shopping during the whole holiday phase,” said Rayyes.

According to Nabil Fahed, Chairman of the Syndicate of Supermarket Owners, supermarket activity is comparable to last year. “Activity started to improve in the past two weeks with the inflow of expatriates,” he said.

Foreign expenditure increased around three percent compared to last year. “The figures might improve achieving five percent growth, between Christmas and next week,” said Joe Yacoub, Country Manager at Global Blue.

Contrary to the retail activity, occupancy rates in hotels did not witness any improvement. According to Pierre Ashkar, Chairman of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners, occupancy rates are not exceeding 50 percent. “Tourists are afraid to come to the country due to the unstable security situation,” Ashkar said.

The average price of five-star hotel rooms is ranging between $200 and $210. “These are the lowest prices registered in several years,” said Ashkar.

Nazira El Atrache, General Manager of Le Bristol Hotel, activity in the hotel’s restaurants will surpass last year’s revenues. “We are witnessing large demand from locals especially from corporations,” said El Atrache. But this activity is not shown in the hotel occupancy rates. “This might be because not all tourists are aware that we have reopened,” she said.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Dec 23, 2015
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