By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: Yearend sales are everywhere these days to attract customers, but many companies will miss their sales target, even as others are doing well. “Even if you try to attract people by holding sales, if they have no money, how can they buy goods,” asked a retail manager, who spoke to Kuwait Times on the condition of anonymity. “Normally we reach 125 to 135 percent of our sales target by the end of the year, but now we are short by 15 to 25 percent,” she said.

MarketResearch.com said household spending in Kuwait will return to growth in 2021, after the COVID-19 pandemic led to a contraction in consumer spending in 2020. MarketResearch.com, the most comprehensive collection of market intelligence products and services on the web, said Kuwait’s improving economic growth in 2021 will support household disposable incomes, along with ongoing government stimulus measures. As such, the market research projected household spending in the country to grow by a real rate of 5.0 percent y-o-y over 2021, a significant improvement from the estimated -4.0 percent y-o-y contraction in 2020.

“Even in food, we have several restaurants which did not do well after the lockdown because of the COVID scare and prolonged closure. Also, customers are coming in smaller numbers unlike before. Some of the food which we ordered has expired, so the store has no choice but to throw it away. Some of the nearly-expired food was given to our staff or sold at a discounted price,” the manager said.

Other retail stores have recorded higher sales compared to last year. “Maybe because we sell luxury products and people who can afford these are those who have money – mostly locals,” another retail manager said. “Many citizens, when they come back from studies abroad, are given money by the government. And we get a share of the money when they buy something from us,” the manager told Kuwait Times.

Consumers are also benefiting from promotions and sales by hypermarkets. “We already achieved our sales target in July and August. The reason is a no-brainer – the only shops open during the lockdowns and curfews were grocery stores and supermarkets. There is an increased demand for food items,” said a hypermarket manager. “The promotions and sales we are doing now are mostly ‘giveaways’ to help people who are struggling, because some companies are still closed. Even before the pandemic, we used to organize yearend sales,” he added.

Some expats have yet to go back to their jobs. “I worked for the entertainment section of my company, but children’s arcades are closed till now. In September, our management decided to let us go. Throughout the months without work, we did not receive any salary. Only in November I got a new job and started paying back money I had borrowed from people to survive, so how can I enjoy the yearend sales,” said Bok, who previously worked as an entertainment supervisor.