Lebanon flag Lebanon: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Lebanon

Evolution of the Sector
The main actor on the Lebanese market is the importer, who plays the role of an agent and benefits from a network of retailers. He is in charge of marketing, negotiating sales contracts, etc. Wholesale trade is carried out by the biggest Lebanese importers. Foreign exporters rely on local companies both to receive the imported products at the Beirut port and Beirut-RHIA after they are cleared by local or international expeditors from the customs authority and subsequently to distribute them in the market.
Although traditional markets and souks exist in Lebanon, most products are distributed through modern retail stores, shopping malls, department stores and supermarket chains spread throughout the country.
Major shopping malls and department stores in Lebanon include ABC, Beirut City Centre, Beirut Mall, Beirut Souks, CityMall, and Le Mall. Major supermarket chains include Carrefour, Le Charcutier Aoun, Fahed Supermarket, Metro Superstore, Monoprix, Spinneys, and The Sultan Centre (TSC). In 2021, the Hezbollah launched a new supermarket chain, named Al-Sajjad.
Lebanon is facing a severe economic crisis, exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. As a result, consumer spending is drastically undermined, and demand for retailing is low (Euromonitor). According to the Beirut Traders Association, 35% of merchants shut down their store or some branches in 2021 (Xinhua). There are online stores, auctions, etc. but they are limited by the fact that there is not yet any appropriate legislation to protect transactions.
Market share
Concerning domestic  trade, modern distribution networks have become more and more common. Super and hypermarkets, malls and similars represent around 40% of the grocery retail market share. The economic crisis, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, severely impacted the traditional retail sector (‘dekkenes’), which lost market shares at the benefit of the modern retail sector.
There are about 90 hypermarkets with regional and international names such as Monoprix, Casino Geant, Spinneys, Coop and BHV. Added to that there are about 300 small businesses and thousands of grocers.
Retail Sector Organisations
Ministry of Economy and Trade

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Latest Update: September 2022

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