For electronics retailers Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) proved to be a huge success going by the numbers. While some retailers witnessed sales growth as high as 35-40 per cent during this period, others have turned DSF into an extremely lucrative opportunity.
Sales growth were promising during DSF 2011 especially in categories such as TVs, smartphones and tablet PCs, according to Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer of Jacky’s Electronics.
“We’ve witnessed growth rates of up to 35-40 per cent in some of these categories which has contributed to the overall increase in top-line growth during DSF 2011,” he said.
Sharaf DG saw encouraging sales, according to the company’s head. “Sharaf DG sales increased significantly during this year’s DSF period over last year’s DSF. Customers took advantage of the attractive offers up for grabs. With the momentum set, we are optimistic that the same trend will continue for the rest of the year as well,” said Yasser Sharaf, Managing Director, Sharaf DG.
Eros Group saw its sales increase by more than 25 per cent during the shopping festival. “DSF has always been a high-sales period for consumer electronics. With a wide range of brands under our portfolio Eros Group makes an impact every year during DSF and this year has been no different.
DSF 2011 has met all our expectations as we have grown by over 25 per cent over last year,” said Niranjan Gidwani, Deputy CEO, Eros Group.
While two main categories – tablet PCs and smartphones – clocked majority of the sales for most retailers this DSF, the festival also generated a lot of interest among shoppers for products such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy
Tab, Apple iPhone 4 and BlackBerry smartphones.
“Towards the end of the DSF period, we also saw many people starting to buy TVs in anticipation of the cricket World Cup that is due to start on February 19, 2011,” said Jacky’s Electronics’ Punjabi.
Axiom Telecom, meanwhile, experienced a 15-20 per cent increase month over month, (meaning 20 per cent more footfall and sales vs pre-DSF monthly period) and a 12 per cent increase in value compared to last year’s DSF, according to Abdul Jabbar, the company’s Marketing Brand Manager.
He said: “We have witnessed an influx of visitors to our outlets this year, and sales boosted during DSF. This is definitely a smartphone and tablet year. We have seen sales of smartphones triple since their nascent stages. We have also witnessed an increased interest in the tablet PC market.”
Sales for Al Ghandi Electronics, too, picked up between 10 and 15 per cent during the DSF period this year compared to last year’s festival, depending on the electronics category.
Sanjay Gokavi, Marketing Manager at Al Ghandi Electronics, said: “DSF as an event helps generate and sustain growth in the first quarter. There is a synergistic vibe created by DSF organisers along with retailers as well as key companies that encourage sales increases. It also offers an opportunity to enhance brand visibility.”
He added the company saw a healthy growth in Blu-ray products with 3D showing signs of demand picking up. Spotting yet another trend in LCD television panels, Gokavi said, people now prefer 42inches.
Attributing a majority of the sales increase to DSF, Panjabi, said: “The timing of this year’s DSF worked well for us as we saw a visible increase in the number of Chinese and Saudi tourists who shopped with us. With Chinese New Year and the Saudi school holidays overlapping with DSF, we’ve definitely seen more tourists from those countries here,” adding that Indian tourists also were aplenty.
Echoing similar view was Sharaf. He said: “DSF being promoted as an annual shopping event both for residents and tourists has helped electronics retailers like us give customers more expectations to look forward to the fantastic promotions we put up especially for this event.
DSF is one of the peak periods of the year for Sharaf DG. Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy. A lot of them have already researched and have already decided the model and specifications they want to buy.”
As a key trend this year, Sharaf said customers are upgrading their lifestyles and are willing to spend for higher-valued items, higher specifications and the latest in technology.
“We have also noticed an increase in the number of consumers now shifting from the usual phones to smartphones and tablets,” he said.
Axiom Telecom’s Jabbar, said: “DSF has now become a matured and well-known event around the world, and this attracts hoards of customers to the city which eventually translates into sales. We always witness a spike in sales during DSF.”
Eros Group’s Gidwani is also of the opinion that DSF is a “well promoted and well-organised” event. “A lot of tourist inflow has resulted in a lot of ‘cash and carry’ sales [during DSF] which is always good for business. We have seen a significant increase in footfalls in all our stores across the malls as well as on the high streets,” he said.