On Thursday, Mike Sport announced that it is shutting down all of its branches across Lebanon; due to its inability to sustain itself with the worsening financial crisis.
Through a WhatsApp message, the sporting goods store also called for a gathering in Martyrs’ Square to protest the unbearable economic situation in Lebanon, which keeps getting worse because of the government’s lack of enthusiasm to make reforms.
“It looks like we’re on the last stretch, the last breath before drowning.”
– Mike Sport’s WhatsApp message
As such, dozens of store owners and employees gathered in Beirut in solidarity with Mike Sport.
Several chain stores joined in announcing that they are also closing their doors until further notice due to the unfathomable increase of the USD exchange rate.
The dollar is currently trading close to 10,000 Lebanese pounds on the black market, further devaluing the local currency ($1 was long stable at 1,500 LBP).
More stores participating in the protest and closing their doors are Marie France, Mumuso, Sinno Home, Homes For Less, Brands For Less, and more. Even the owners of small mom and pop shops have joined the stance.
Many of these stores have announced their decision to close while using Mike Sport’s hashtag We Are Here To Stay.
“We’d rather shut down than significantly increase our prices and lose your trust,” stated the store Mumuso to its customers on social media.
On live television, several store owners stated that the public gave the government a chance with the appointment of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, but that the situation in Lebanon has just gotten worse. “Enough!”
Owners and employees who may share varying sectarian, political, and social opinions are joined together for the same cause: financial struggle.
Owners of enterprises are now calling for a total shutdown.