Think tank calls for action to boost retail resilience
Mall owners and retailers recommend actions for a more sustainable and resilient retail sector in the UAE
The UAE Retail and Malls Think Tank makes 25 recommendations to support and strengthen the retail sector in the UAE through the Covid-19 crisis.
Key areas for action:
> Collaboration between retailers and landlords
> Identifying opportunities for growth
> Investing in innovation
> Increasing focus on customer and staff welfare
> Safeguarding against future disruptions
Established by Mashreq Bank and business intelligence service MEED, the UAE Retail and Malls Think Tank is a focus group comprising senior industry players from across the UAE retail and malls sector brought together to highlight the issues facing the UAE retail industry.
The first white paper from the Think Tank, Resilience in Retail and Malls, assesses the problems introduced by Covid-19 and provides 25 recommendations that can help overcome these challenges.
The paper emphasises the need for more collaborative relationships between retailers, landlords and government to help the industry build resilience and tide over the ongoing crisis. Over the long-term, cooperation will continue to be a key factor enabling retailers to realise the sizeable opportunities in the sector.
Joel D Van Dusen, head of the Corporate and Investment Banking Group at Mashreq Bank, says: “In the UAE’s economic diversification strategy, the retail sector has been one of the drivers supporting the country’s vision to reduce its dependence on oil.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in and brought new pains to the sector, there continues to be massive value and potential waiting to be seized by those who rise to the challenge.
“The white paper presents insights and recommendations that act as a timely reminder for the industry to come together and rethink the existing model. Only by creating a permanent shift in the way business is done will the retail sector be able to future-proof its position for the long-term.”
While the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in and brought new pains to the sector, there continues to be massive value and potential waiting to be seized by those who rise to the challenge
Joel D Van Dusen, Mashreq Bank
Richard Thompson, MEED’s editorial director, says the UAE’s world-class offering in the retail market has made the country an attractive destination for shoppers and retailers alike.
“The report underlines that, unless collaborative action is taken by key industry stakeholders to accelerate positive change, maintaining the UAE’s status may prove difficult given the onslaught of challenges from online shopping and Covid-19, among others,” he adds.
“The recommendations provided by the UAE Retail Think Tank lay out a clear path for the retail sector to follow as they forge ahead to build a more resilient ecosystem.”