Bahrain flag Bahrain: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Bahrain

Evolution of the Sector
Bahrain’s retail market has grown to a value of BHD 2.2 billion (5.8 billion USD) per year according to a new study by KPMG made in 2017, with a low average retail density per resident indicating the potential for further growth. Bahrain’s retail sector has been growing steadily over the past decade and remains one of the most dynamic sectors in the Kingdom, with an annual growth rate of 13%, according to a new study by KPMG.
During the 2007-17 period, the increasing population coupled with household income growth, as well as the inflow of tourists from Saudi Arabia, have led to the tripling of retail capacity between 2007 and 2017. The sector is still dominated by traditional markets (souks) and corner shops, especially concerning traditional goods and services usch as gold, textiles and sweets. Modern distribution channels are nevertheless becoming more prominent, with the appearance of large malls, supermarkets and hypermarkets. The kingdom's retail market is dynamic also thanks to its close connection to tourism - a large part of retail sales is carried out in sectors other than the food sectors.     

However, the average number of retail square meters per resident is less than half in comparison to global cities such as New York and Dubai, and is more comparable with cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. This means the local retail market has still not reached full maturity, which indicates positive signs for growth potential.
Market share
Despite being a small country with a relatively modest population, the kingdom has more than twenty malls and the same number of supermarkets/hypermarkets. These have appeared in the last 20 years and have taken advantage of traditional channels (souks, travelling salesmen, stands). The largest supermarket chains include: Géant, Midway, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Jawad. The largest wholesalers are: BMMI, Jawad Business Group, HHM Group (Fine Food), Ali & Sons (Foodco).
Retail Sector Organisations
Entrepreneur's Organization Bahrain
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce
Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism

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Latest Update: April 2022

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