Retailers find ways to connect with customers and stay afloat amid crisis
April 02 2020 01:10 AM
MoQ provides Covid-19 updates on its website.

By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has prompted several shops and food outlets at major malls in Doha to raise efforts in connecting with customers through online and other digital means to stay afloat. This comes as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry asked retail outlets and bank branches at malls and shopping centres to stop operation as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Due to the current situation, many stores found ways to offer residents various promotions and discounts, including free delivery. Cole Haan, for example, showcases an array of items with reduced prices on Instagram while its WhatsApp number also sends pictures for customers to select. The brand has stores at Doha Festival City (DHFC), Mall of Qatar (MoQ), Villaggio and The Pearl-Qatar and delivery may take at least a day.
Ikea, known for its ready-to-assemble furniture, offers “free delivery across Qatar on all online orders above QR100” as it showcases a wide range of items on its website.
Meanwhile, restaurants, eateries and fast food chains have no minimum amount for orders except for the delivery service charge of QR10 from Talabat.
“I find it very convenient to get my food online from these restaurants, I save a lot of time because I don’t need to cook at home or drive to dine elsewhere,” said Rizz A, a Filipino expatriate who now works from home.
According to MoQ, many of its food and beverage outlets such as Magnolia Bakery, Subway, Ocean basket, Pizza Hut, and Al Bayt, among other restaurants and cafes, listed on its website (subject to change) will continue to provide takeaway and home delivery services.
The mall’s hypermarket, food stores and pharmacies will remain open to the public during their normal operational hours.
DHFC general manager Robert Hall told Gulf Times that they have been working with all retailers at DHFC to find alternative ways to cater to the needs of our customers. “There has been an amazing response and agility from all our partners, and we are currently sharing multiple offers from our retailers with the intention of creating a convenient channel for our customers to shop from the comfort of their homes,” he said.
DHFC currently has more than 50 food and beverage outlets participating as well as over 60 retailers, including ladies and men’s fashion, beauty, perfumes, accessories, jewellery and watches, children’ clothing and edutainment as well as sporting goods, technology, homewares, florists and pharmacies, according to Hall.
He added that most of the participating stores are offering a free delivery service, and all deliveries are carried out in the fastest and most efficient ways possible, which vary according to the type of service ordered. “We have been working with our partners and retailers to offer customers an exceptional and convenient online shopping experience. It is important that we continuously seek new ways to support the community as well as our retailers – now more than ever. DHFC is the one and only online shopping destination, providing shoppers with unique opportunities and experiences during this period,” Hall said.
A number of popular brands at MoQ such as Godiva, The Face Shop, Salam Stores, Pari Gallery, Victoria Secret, H&M, Sheikha Style, and Bath and Body Works, among others, are all part of its ‘Shop from Home’ initiative, a webpage created by the mall. “The list is updated daily as more tenants are sending us the delivery service details daily. Not all the brands have the technology yet, most of them are offering the service when ordering via WhatsApp or phone call,” MoQ told Gulf Times.
The mall noted that it is not managing the home delivery service but the tenants, and most of them are free of charge. “We are supporting them by promoting their home delivery service through different communication channels, i.e. sms, social media, and website,” MoQ added.

Last updated: April 02 2020 12:41 PM

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