The year 2020 is proving difficult for businesses around the world with the challenge of the global pandemic, and more so in Lebanon enduring its worse economic collapse in living history.
It seems like every day this year, Lebanese wake up to bid farewell to their favorite businesses.
Whether it be their most loved cafes and restaurants, or even their local pharmacies and markets, places are struggling for air and many are closing down; granted that many others were destroyed in the explosion on August 4th.
For some time, there’s been (unofficial) word going around that several coveted international brands were set to close. Unfortunately, it seems that day is drawing near.
By the end of 2020, Lebanon will possibly have seen the last of several stores, including American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Claire’s, Mothercare, Victoria Secret, Pinkberry, and more.
An employee at one of these stores confirmed this to The961.
In addition, Swedish retailer H&M is said to be closing some branches in Lebanon except in City Center Beirut and The Spot Choueifat.
As for Starbucks with all its branches appear to be the only business in that group that will survive mass closures in Lebanon.
These businesses are operated by Alshaya Group headquartered in Kuwait, which told The961 that the company “had no comment at this point” and declined to confirm or deny this.
However, many shoppers are noting changes in their favorite stores and quoting employees who have informed them of the imminent closure.
Additionally, large crowds have been spotted forming outside some of these stores, which are currently running sales before allegedly closing down.
It is not clear why the stores are closing and if it is due to economic pressures or not.
One certainty though is that the people’s “power of purchase” has diminished significantly across the country with priorities directed to the essentials, which, for some and not a few, have become unattainable.