The rise of e-commerce challenges the supremacy of shopping malls

Readers discuss e-commerce, Pakistan, telecoms and the debt panel

As online shopping expands, the landscape for malls in the UAE and beyond will change. Delores Johnson / The National
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I write in reference to your insightful editorial, The growth of retail online means more choice (January 3). The spread of e-commerce in the UAE and worldwide, provides choice, bargains and shopping opportunities to the consumer. Amazon has become one of the largest companies in the world due to the range of products it offers, the rapid delivery system it has established and a sound practice of immediately attending to consumer complaints.

However, the growth of e-commerce has serious implications for malls and bricks-and-mortar outlets. Their sales will definitely decline. Their revenues per square foot will also decrease and many of them will also become unprofitable. Malls should try to lure shoppers by offering more attractions and recreational facilities, so that a family could spend the entire day there, shopping, playing some games and also relaxing. Malls have to relaunch themselves as visitor destinations. Survival could become a tough challenge for the malls and high-street outlets in the future.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Cut the red tape if you want to encourage entrepreneurs
I have enjoyed reading this newspaper's coverage of entrepreneurship and the SME environment in the UAE. One area worthy of further investigation concerns entrepreneurs who simply were too discouraged to start. It may come as a surprise, but a major sticking point is simply opening a bank account. It can be a very difficult process. Even after the account is open, it is typical for banks in the UAE to behave in an almost punitive fashion towards their customers.

BM, Dubai

There will be consequences if US aid to Pakistan is cut

In reference to your editorial Trump's rhetoric tests and uneasy alliance (January 3), Pakistan is not a superpower on the subcontinent. That would be its neighbour, India, the country that has good relations with the US. Cutting funding will damage efforts to contain radicalisation.

RC, Dubai

Your debt panel case study raises questions and solutions

In reference to the latest instalment of the debt panel (Expat's arrears amount to 36 times salary, January 3), this is such a tough situation. The lender should just forgive the debt because there is no way the borrower can repay this amount.

Kevin Zayas, Abu Dhabi

Telecoms concerns should be addressed

I refer to your story in your business pages TRA: VoIP policy remains unchanged (January 3). Why don't the TRA take a look at the policy to respond to the demand of users? Policies are made by people and people can change them.

AV, Dubai

Saving the sharks is one thing; teaching fishermen is another

I write regarding Save Our Sharks: a lesson all divers ought to heed (January 3). I'd say it's the fishermen who need to be educated.

Jayne Gilmour, Abu Dhabi