Dubai cityscape by Robert Bock on Unsplash

UAE opinion: brand is key to business survival of COVID-19

Stephen George, CEO and founder of Surkus and co-founder of Groupon believes current downturn presents plenty of opportunities Businesses impacted by the current coronavirus crisis are being urged to continue building brand loyalty and exploit all digital tools at their disposal, according to Stephen George, CEO and founder of Surkus, an experiential marketing platform. George is no stranger to operating during tough times, having co-launched discounting giant Groupon around the start of the global financial collapse in 2008. Despite the world’s economy slipping into recession as countries implement widespread restrictions…

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Parc Central, Tarragona (image: Wikimedia Commons)

European shopping centre property deals stall

A string of shopping centre and retail park transactions are stalling across Europe as coronavirus lockdowns require shops to close. Blackstone has been in discussions with Allianz for months to sell Forum Palermo for €200million but the deal has fallen through. One of the largest malls in the Sicilian city, the asset provides more than 48,000 m2 of gross lettable area over 124 shops and 2,500 parking spaces. The US investment giant is also understood to have paused the marketing of Spanish Espacio Leon, a shopping centre which was put…

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Closed UK shop, Boden, with Covid-19 messages Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

Report: worse to come from Covid-19; retailers despair or adapt

UK retailers experienced a drop in footfall of around 60% in the second week of March, following warnings about the coronavirus outbreak – with worse set to follow, according to new figures from analyst CACI. However, the group predicts that more agile retailers will eventually emerge from the crisis with an advantage. A survey by the group has found that the vast majority of consumers (86%) have made changes to their non-food shopping behaviour, though there have been geographic differences to the response. The research was carried out before the latest restriction…

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