The coronavirus pandemic has been a dark and difficult time for us all: our communities, our people and our companies have been hurt economically and socially as the velocity of physical movement, interaction and commerce has slowed.
In spite of this, I believe we are living through a moment of great opportunity, a time when we can rebuild our world in a way that will have a lasting and positive impact.
It’s time to up our game when it comes to sustainable living in the Middle East.
As a retail industry professional responsible for a portfolio of 27 physical and experiential retail spaces across the Middle East, I have been watching closely as the global pandemic created a new digital paradigm. For many in our industry, these represent truly unprecedented times.
Resilient businesses use digital technologies, data and analytics to create long-term customer value.
The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the resilience of nearly every business to its limit. Many companies have suspended their operations completely, and even those who are allowed to continue trading are struggling. The challenge is not just coping with disrupted supply chains and volatile consumer behaviour, but also preparing businesses for the new normal after this virus has been contained.
As a new wave of technology signals further changes to our lives and the regional ecosystem, how should sectors such as retail adapt?
The global economy is deep into the worst economic crisis of the last 100 years. Across the Middle East and North Africa, the economic outlook is perhaps even more severe than elsewhere, as the region faces unprecedented dual shocks from COVID-19 and the collapse in oil prices. With malls closed and social distancing in place, consumers are simply not spending money like before.
Covid-19 does not recognize borders. Contagion has been evident not only in the transmission of the virus across countries but in the global economic propagation of this health shock on production, consumption and the consequent slowdown in economic activity.