Five big malls set to open in Qatar in 2020 Mar 27, 2020 0 423 12345 Satyendra Pathak Doha Five big malls with approximately 462,000 sqm gross leasable area of retail space are all set to open in 2020, ValuStrat research has said in its latest report. According to ValuStrat’s Qatar Retail Market Insights, the new malls - Doha Mall in Al Maamoura, Boulevard Mall in Jeryan Jenaihat, 04 Mall in The Pearl, J Mall in Al Markhiya and Place Vendome in Lusail - is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. With these additions, the report said, retail supply would exceed 2.3 million sq m gross leasable area (GLA) by 2020, assuming no construction delays.Average retail occupancy across malls in Qatar was estimated at 80 percent in 2019, the report said adding the country saw the opening of fewer new retail centres during the year and the total supply of organised retail space was just over 1.89 million sqm excluding street retail and hypermarkets. This represented a 5 percent increase in supply since 2018 with the completion of three retail centres Al Waddan Mall (26,000 sq m) in Mesaieed, The Galleria (44,000 sq m) and Department Store (15,000 sq m) in Musheireb Downtown during 2019, the report said. Additionally, the report said, Galeries Lafayette (4,350 sq m gross leasable area) announced the soft opening of its flagship store in Katara Cultural Village. Super regional malls dominated the retail landscape by taking up 52 percent of the total gross leasable area. In terms of geographical distribution, the report said, Doha comprised 42 percent of the total gross leasable area of organised retail space. The remaining was distributed in Al Rayyan (30 percent), Al Daayen (15 percent), Umm Salal (5 percent), Al Wakrah (5 percent) and Al Khor (3 percent), the report said adding that Doha Festival City remained the largest mall in Qatar comprises of 250,000 sqm gross leasable area. Based on current organised retail supply and population, the saturation ratio of shopping centres in Qatar was 660 sqm per 1,000 capita compared to the GCC average of 620 sqm per 1,000 per capita.The pace of growth of consumer spending in Qatar continued to grow with spending in food, non-alcoholic drinks, footwear, apparel, household goods and personal care, to have increased by an estimated 2 percent during 2019, the report said. Events such as ‘Shop Qatar’ and ‘Summer in Qatar’ during which participating malls offered discounts, entertainment and fashion shows and raffle draws led to temporary increase in sales and footfall during first half of 2019, the report said. However, due to influx of new malls, there has been a decrease in enquiries for vacant spaces in existing shopping centres compared to 2018. Moreover, owing to increasing competition shopping mall vendors experienced annual decrease in sales during 2019 against 2018. The landlords offered attractive incentives like waiving service charges or turnover rents to retain existing retailers and generate new leases, it said.Highlighting the divergence in the performance of malls, the report said, “Super regional malls performed better in terms of footfall, occupancy and lease rates when compared to smaller regional malls.” Due to the recent outbreak of global endemic Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it is projected that at least for the short term, international retailers may become more reluctant to open new stores due to the expected recessionary impact on sales.“Moreover, tourist footfall in malls might be negatively impacted as air and sea travel faces restrictions. Nevertheless, retail occupancy is projected to improve in the medium term due to temporary increase in demand as World Cup 2022 nears,” the report said. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Qatar Chamber committed to ensure sufficient food supplies to local market Mar 27, 2020 0 464 MoCI signs deal with 14 firms to raise strategic stock of essential commodities Mar 27, 2020 0 1162 US jobless claims soar beyond 3 million as Covid-19 layoffs hit Mar 27, 2020 0 162 Wall Street rallies as job losses stir talk of more stimulus Agencies New York Wall Street surged on Thursday as record weekly jobless claims came in below investors’ worst fears, making a case for more aggressive stimulus to aid businesses and families wrecked by the economic ..