Saudi retailers set for Ramadan boost

Clothing stores receive a large boost during the month of Ramadan. (Getty)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Saudi retailers set for Ramadan boost

  • Some 66 percent of Saudi shoppers make either planned or impulsive purchases during Ramadan, according to YouGov poll.
  • Around half of all respondents were looking at specific brand offerings for mobile devices, cars, computers and laptops.

LONDON: Ramadan is set to provide a lift for Saudi retailers, with a survey showing that more than a third of consumers believe the holy month is the best time to go shopping and find bargains, according to YouGov.
The data identified 66 percent of KSA respondents to be “Ramadan shoppers” — those who make either planned or impulsive purchases during the period.
Almost 50 percent were said to have specific purchases in mind.
YouGov’s data also revealed that certain sectors were more popular than others, with slightly over half — 51 percent — looking at clothing.
Elsewhere, 45 percent were targeting grocery and fresh produce bargains, and 36 percent mobile phones.
The study suggested that brands matter when it comes to big ticket Ramadan purchases. Around half of all respondents were looking at specific brand offerings for mobile devices, cars, computers and laptops.
Retailers throughout the region are coming under increasing pressure as more shoppers migrate to online while economic uncertainty hits consumer spending.
Despite the growth in online retailing over recent years, YouGov’s research shows that relatively few (16 percent) plan to shop exclusively online during Ramadan. Instead, the majority plan to spend at least some of their shopping time in stores and malls.
Many customers learn about offers online, however. Around two in five find out about promotions via social media ads (42 percent) and internet ads (40 percent), while a quarter (24 percent) hear through promotional emails or text messages from companies and brands.
Kerry McLaren, YouGov director, said: “Ramadan represents an enormous opportunity — both for retailers and customers. By understanding the mindset of the Ramadan shopper, retailers and advertisers can reach them more effectively.”


IMF warns G20 economic leaders that tariffs hurting global economy

Updated 22 July 2018
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IMF warns G20 economic leaders that tariffs hurting global economy

BUENOS AIRES: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned world economic leaders on Saturday that a recent wave of trade tariffs would significantly harm global growth, a day after US President Donald Trump threatened a major escalation in a dispute with China.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she would present the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Buenos Aires with a report detailing the impacts of the restrictions already announced on global trade.
“It certainly indicates the impact that it could have on GDP (gross domestic product), which in the worst case scenario under current measures...is in the range of 0.5 pct of GDP on a global basis,” Lagarde said at a joint news conference with Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne.
Her warning came shortly after the top US economic official, Treasury Minister Steven Mnuchin, told reporters in the Argentine capital there was no “macroeconomic” effect yet on the world’s largest economy.
Long-simmering trade tensions have burst into the open in recent months, with the United States and China — the world’s No. 2 economy — slapping tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods so far.
The weekend meeting in Buenos Aires comes amid a dramatic escalation in rhetoric on both sides. Trump on Friday threatened tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese exports to the United States.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will try to rally G7 allies over the weekend to join it in more aggressive action against China, but they may be reluctant to cooperate because of US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union and Canada, which prompted retaliatory measures. .
The last G20 finance meeting in Buenos Aires in late March ended with no firm agreement by ministers on trade policy except for a commitment to “further dialogue.”
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he would use the meeting to advocate for a rules-based trading system, but that expectations were low.
“I don’t expect tangible progress to be made at this meeting,” Scholz told reporters on the plane to Buenos Aires.
Mnuchin told reporters on Saturday that he has not seen a macroeconomic impact from the US tariffs on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods, along with retaliation from trading partners.
But he said there have been microeconomic effects on individual businesses, he said, adding that the administration was closely monitoring these and looking at ways to help US farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs.
The US dollar fell the most in three weeks on Friday against a basket of six major currencies after Trump complained again about the greenback’s strength and about Federal Reserve interest rate rises, halting a rally that had driven the dollar to its highest level in a year.