Kuwait’s Alshaya Group is closing 60 stores across Egypt, citing the country’s ongoing economic situation that has triggered a string of currency devaluations, record inflation, and pushed many of its citizens to seek prospects outside the country.
In a statement to Zawya, a spokesperson for Alshaya Group shared more details on its operations in the country, saying: “As a result of the economic situation over the last three years and the difficulties faced by overseas businesses trading in Egypt, we have taken the very difficult decision to reduce our operations in the country.”
The group runs close to 145 stores in Egypt, according to its website.
The spokesperson confirmed 60 stores will be shutting down, adding: “We will be closing all our physical stores and eCom operations of Claires, Debenhams, Mothercare, The Body Shop and Pinkberry in Egypt.”
“We will also be reducing the number of stores that we operate for American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, H&M, and Victoria’s Secret,” the spokesperson added.
Popular coffee chain Starbucks, which has 80 outlets across the country, is not affected by the closure plans.
The Kuwaiti retail group has operated in Egypt for 18 years, adding that it was “committed” to the market and looked forward to “continuing to trade and hopefully growing again the near future.”
In October, global ratings agency S&P downgraded Egypt’s long-term sovereign credit rating by one notch to B-, citing the country’s mounting funding pressures.
The ongoing regional conflict between Israel and Gaza, which escalated in October, has also resulted in a drop in tourist numbers in the corresponding months.
(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)