Sales outlets confirmed that they did not provide facilities due to the presence of risks related to payment and their need for liquidity
Consumers are demanding installment of high bills ... and deferred payment
Payment facilities are available in a limited number of outlets.
Photography: Ashok Verma
Consumers demanded sales outlets and cooperative societies to expand the provision of facilities for paying bills, especially high-value ones, including durable devices such as computers, calling for the introduction of payment in installments without interest or purchase first and then pay later, for specific periods of time.
They told "Emirates Today" that they need these facilities to face the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, pointing to the start of the school year, which requires the purchase of computers under distance education, in addition to working remotely and the need to purchase various home appliances while reducing leaving the house. .
For their part, sales outlets officials attributed the failure to provide payment facilities to consumers, especially installments, to several reasons, most notably their need for liquidity, the presence of risks related to non-payment, as well as difficulties related to obtaining the approval of commodity suppliers.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Economy previously confirmed that it supports any move that supports consumers and outlets and stimulates retail trade in the country.
In detail, consumer Jihad Khadr called on sales outlets, societies and cooperatives to provide facilities when paying bills, especially high-value items that include durable devices such as computers and necessary home appliances.
He added that with the start of the school year, many consumers had several financial obligations, such as buying computers under remote education, pointing to the high prices of these devices, which coincided with private companies cutting out employees or temporarily reducing their salaries due to the repercussions of the Corona virus. .
Khader stated that when asked the sales outlets from which he usually buys about the existence of payment facilities, these outlets answered that these facilities are not available and there is no direction for their presence now.
Consumer Mahmoud Abdullah agreed with Khader on the necessity of having facilities to pay the bills of sales outlets and associations, especially when buying computers and electrical devices, given their high prices compared to other consumer goods, and the need for adults and children to study remotely, work remotely and stay at home.
He said that very few sales outlets have finally started offering such facilities, stressing that there is an urgent need to expand them in support of consumers under the current circumstances.
Consumer Noura Suleiman called on sales outlets and cooperatives to relieve consumers and provide facilities for families in the event of buying in large amounts.
She said that staying at home for long periods as part of the precautionary measures to confront "Corona" requires the purchase of many electrical and household appliances, in addition to the need to purchase new computers with high specifications for remote education for children or to work remotely for adults with the start of the school season and the commitment to pay school fees.
For his part, Deputy Director of the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society for Operations, Abdullah Eid, said that the association does not provide facilities for paying bills at present, noting that the existence of payment facilities depends on the policy of each company.
He added that the Abu Dhabi Society is a joint stock company owned by shareholders, which makes it difficult to do so, unlike private companies owned by a person or family.
Eid explained that there is a high risk of irregular payment on the part of some consumers, pointing out that the association offers huge offers that include weekly and monthly discounts on thousands of goods.
In turn, the Director of the Corporate Communication Department at Lulu Commercial Centers Group, Nanda Kumar, said that contracts have been concluded between “Lulu” and 10 banks recently to provide payment facilities to consumers that will apply if the purchase invoice reaches 1000 dirhams or more, explaining that the bill will be paid. In installments over six months without bank interest, if consumers wish to do so.
And Kumar indicated that the purchase of installments applies to the purchase of any food or non-food commodities, indicating that this comes to make it easier for consumers and help them buy what they need.
He pointed out that "Lulu" offers at least two offers every month, as one offer includes between 3000 and 5000 items in all branches, in addition to offers of 10, 15 and 20 dirhams that include discounts of up to 50% on a wide range of goods.
In the same context, the General Director of the Emirates Cooperative Society, Muhammad Al Khaja, said that the association does not provide facilities in paying bills at present, such as installments, but offers special offers and discounts of up to 70% on thousands of different goods and products to support consumers.
He pointed out that, in conjunction with the Corona pandemic, the association decided to increase the offers from 20 to 32 annually in agreement with suppliers, in addition to discounts that the association makes on other commodities that it is its agent in the country.
Al-Khaja explained that each of these offers includes at least 400 items, that is, the annual discounts include more than 12 thousand and 800 items, pointing out that in some seasons such as Ramadan and Eid, discounts from 800 to 900 items are included.
Al Khaja added that the association decided that these offers will be effective, whether inside its branches or when shopping via the Internet, after it found great interest from consumers in online shopping, as well as achieving the goal of preventing congestion and the existence of safe distances between consumers as part of the precautionary measures to prevent Corona.
Al-Khaja stated that the association also offers discounts to shareholders who are consumers in the first place, as they get an annual return of 20% on their purchases, in addition to the association’s loyalty cards offering many advantages, most notably a 50 dirham discount when spending 4,000 dirhams and other benefits.
For his part, Director of the Supply and Promotion Department at the Sharjah Cooperative, Rashid bin Hoyden Al Ketbi, stated that the association does not provide payment facilities such as installments without interest because 90% of its sales are focused on food commodities, indicating that these facilities are suitable for durable and electrical goods because they are Expensive.
He said that the association supports consumers through the discounts offered by it every two weeks, which include a number ranging between 400 and 500 items, in order to stimulate sales and facilitate consumers by purchasing the goods they need at reasonable prices.
Al-Ketbi added that the association has been keen since the start of the Corona pandemic on the existence of a strategic stock of goods sufficient for consumers' needs for a long period to secure their basic needs, in addition to ensuring the implementation of precautionary measures to prevent the pandemic, such as continuous sterilization, commitment to preventing congestion, and the existence of safe distances between consumers and others.
In addition, an official in a well-known outlet in the country, who only identified his name with (FH), said that providing payment facilities is currently difficult due to the severe need for liquidity to support the port's operations, in addition to the difficulty of approval of suppliers due to their need to obtain money for goods every period. It lasts approximately 40 days.
He explained that the risk of non-payment is one of the main reasons why some outlets exclude the installment of bills.
The director of "Carrefour Emirates" at Majid Al Futtaim Retail Company, Philip Pigeon, said that "Carrefour" cooperates with several banks in the country to provide easy monthly payment plans for its customers, starting from three months to a year as a maximum. The reward program (SHARE) also allows customers to earn Points for any purchase in the company's shopping centers, then exchanged for products in "Carrefour" stores, as well as offers that facilitate the collection of points.
He added that "the (Corona) pandemic will leave a clear imprint on the economy, and we believe that it is our duty to provide the necessary facilities to society in light of this crisis so that life returns to what we have promised."
Retail affairs expert Ibrahim Al-Bahr expressed his full support for the availability of facilities in purchasing and paying bills, especially during the current period, pointing to the intensity of competition in the market.
He said, "There is a need for new and innovative ideas on the part of sales outlets and associations to support consumers, which is in the interest of the outlets because it will stimulate the market and increase sales."
Al-Bahr called on the outlets and associations to take all the guarantees they want from consumers who pay in installments or buy now and pay later with specifying ceilings for installment operations according to the salary and income of the consumer.
He pointed out that these facilities exist on a very limited scale, and in a small number of sales outlets due to the keenness of the presence of large liquidity.
Al-Bahr ruled out the refusal of suppliers to provide facilities for their supplied goods due to their need to revitalize the market in the event of an integrated system that includes the necessary guarantees, indicating that electronics stores, for example, started selling in installments some time ago.
Al-Bahr said that trade is developing greatly during the current period, pointing out that the outlets and associations that fail to provide facilities will lose a lot during the coming period.
Outlets and associations have confirmed their support to consumers through special offers and sales.
Outlets and associations have confirmed their support to consumers through special offers and sales.
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