This Is What’s Happening With The Supermarkets In Lebanon

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

The Syndicate of Supermarket Owners in Lebanon addressed on Sunday the issue of prices in the supermarkets.

After a meeting with PM Hassan Diab and the Minister of Economy and Trade Raoul Nehmeh, the syndicate announced in a statement that this sector in Lebanon is suffering from great losses despite the supermarkets opening their doors to the people.

This, however, does not reflect the reality of the financial struggles that haunts all supermarkets and their owners, according to the Head of the Supermarket Owners’ Association, Nabil Fahd.

“We explained the situation to PM Diab,” he said. “The sector was suffering from great difficulties before the economic crisis, as a number of supermarkets closed and several were declared bankrupt as well.”

“The sector cannot afford the financial struggle that we are currently going through,” he pointed out.

He stressed the importance of this message getting to the people so that there is no targeting the sector; a sector that is serving the Lebanese people and providing them with necessities at a time when supermarkets are suffering losses due to the very low exchange rate of the Lebanese Lira.

He explained that “the goods in stock are paid for in dollars, meaning that their value is in dollars and not in LBP. Therefore, the price approved in LBP will be based on the exchange rate of the dollar registered in the market.”

He continued: “If this rule is not being followed, the goods will lose all their value and the stores will close. The commodity prices in dollars decreased, but the low exchange rate of the Lebanese Lira is what led to the high prices.”

Bilal Jawich/Xinhua

He added that there is a haircut on the capital of the supermarkets, but it is hard for the citizens to see that: “they feel burdened and we understand their pain.”

In the end, the syndicate called for stabilizing the exchange rate and securing liquidity in dollars to import goods, which will solve all problems and achieve price stability.

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