Malls in the country are expecting a surge in footfall, driven by events like the Qatar Summer Festival and Qatari and expatriates who have started to return from vacation, according to sources.
Navaneeth Sudhakaran, general manager at Al Khor Mall, said the footfall at the mall in the second quarter of 2016 was up 15%, particularly during Eid al-Fitr compared to the same period last year.
“In contrast to last year, we’ve experienced a continuous increase in the number of shoppers. During Eid, footfall last month was quite high for the first two days but after that it actually started to decline,” Sudhakaran said.
“This is the general trend considering that this is also the season when many people go out of the country for vacation and schools are on a break … but this month we’ll see how the situation goes back or what sort of impact the footfall will have on the malls since people are expected to be back by August,” he said.
A store manager at Hyatt Plaza said the Ramadan and Eid season have brought in “a good number of quality shoppers,” increasing sales for many stores.
“However, as holidaymakers make their way back to Qatar, we’re expecting shopping activities at Hyatt Plaza to start picking up again. We’re also positive that the Qatar Summer Festival will drive more shoppers to the mall this month,” he said.
Sudhakaran noted that malls, including other establishments that are participating in the Qatar Summer Festival, are giving customers “added advantage” such as raffle draws when they shop.
On Monday, after the Qatar Summer Festival opened at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Sudhakaran said feedback “was quite healthy” from the counter at Al Khor Mall that issues raffle coupons.
Customers get a raffle coupon for every purchase worth QR200 at Al Khor Mall and Hyatt Plaza, including other participating malls like City Center Doha, Gulf, Landmark, Ezdan, and Dar Al Salam, as well as The Pearl-Qatar.
“However, we will observe how things go for a week, considering that the people who stayed in Qatar have received their salaries, purchases will surge this week. Maybe after one week we’ll see whether if it’s going to be positive or if it will stay the same,” he added.
Asked about how other upcoming malls would shape the country’s retail industry, Sudhakaran said: “Additional retail space would benefit consumers because of the different options that will be offered to them. This could also be the start of a healthy competition between the malls in the country.”
“In contrast to last year, we’ve experienced a continuous increase in the number of shoppers. During Eid, footfall last month was quite high for the first two days but after that it actually started to decline”