Things haven’t been that good when it comes to retail in Kuwait. From stores in the avenues to the stores in Hawalli, the retail industry is changing big time. Last week, we had some goods at Kuwait customs and when we went there it wasn’t as busy as it used to be in the past. We asked around and the labor there were complaining that imports have decreased so much and it keeps decreasing. The trucks that transports goods were charging 25 KD per trip and now they are charging 10 KD only. I have discussed this issue with multiple business owners and they mostly blame the changes in the industry.
Al-Rehab Complex: Multiple business owners that I know very well complained how their customers changed the way they purchase video games. When it comes to software, they purchase online from Playstation Network, Nintendo eShop, Xbox Games Store. Even if someone wants the collector’s edition, they buy it from Amazon. The problem even the most loyal customers to Al-Rehab Complex stopped going there and they started to buy online. Buying directly from Amazon for collector’s edition games is cheaper than buying from Al-Rehab Complex.
The Avenues: The Avenues has the highest foot traffic in Kuwait, but for the past 2.5 years. You see constant sales going on. I am surprised to see Sales going on for that long, but it isn’t stopping at all and I don’t think it will stop anytime soon. Business owners are blaming the leave of expats families, reduction in purchase power, and purchasing online from stores overseas.
Ibn Khaldoun St: Even the silicon valley of Kuwait have been hit big time. I talked to multiple business owners and their main problem is that people are buying from Amazon. Of course people will buy from Amazon, they offer lower prices and very fast deliveries. I am getting my stuff within 3-4 days, which is extremely fast for a shipment coming from the US. The stores in Kuwait can’t compete with Amazon since Amazon have a very large economy of scale.
The trend will continue where retail will suffer and online purchases will increase. Retail recession has started few years ago, but lets see how 2020 goes.