Data from a number of large retailers showed that the market began to bustle again in the second half of 2020 after an initial slump.

It was partly due to trade promotion activities undertaken toward the end of the year and a recovery in consumer demand due to the Government’s efficient containment of the disease.

The food and beverages sector reported a 15.9 percent rise in earnings before interest and tax.

The pandemic caused a boom in e-commerce as shopping behaviours changed.

According to several market research companies, retail chains have to restructure since brick-and-mortar stores face shrinking profit margins because of fewer customers and soaring costs.

This year the market grew by 6.8 percent last year to over 172 billion USD despite the debilitating economic effect of the COVID-19 outbreak./.