Gitex Shopper begins: Deals and steals worth Dh50m on offer

Retail giants spill beans on killer deals, new product launches and must-have gadgets

Bumper bargains await visitors as Gitex Shopper starts early this year with over Dh50 million in freebies up for grabs, confirm organisers.

Sales are expected to surpass last year’s Dh200m, as Shopper’s return to origins at the Dubai World Trade Centre from September 29 will see retail giants vie for consumer cash with bundle offers and exclusive product buys.

“The eight days of Shopper this year will be equal to two months in sales for us,” confirmed Jackys COO, Ashish Panjabi.

Meanwhile, retail giants Jumbo Electronics and Emax are both expecting ‘double digit’ growth in sales over last year, with the latter confirming a growth of nearly 40 per cent if targets are met.

Freebie frenzy

Historically, GITEX Shopper’s USP has been its killer bundle offers that pile up free gifts for consumers with practically every purchase made.

Vishesh Bhatia, CEO Jumbo Electronics said: “This year, we alone are giving Dh7m worth of freebies. We are just telling people to come and buy in a freebie frenzy.

“Everything will sell, laptops, Apple phones, cameras, with enough in free gifts to satisfy even the most hardened critic.”

Not to be outdone, Panjabi confirmed that Jackys free offers this year will double from last year’s Dh4m spent, adding: “It will be all about IT products, but we are being very careful this year in our policy, ensuring we don’t want to give free products that people don’t appreciate such as the Dh10 mouse, or the headphones or the anti-virus software that no one uses.”

Emax CEO Neelesh Bhatnagar said: “The freebie focus will be on IT this year, and if we achieve my budgeted figure in sales, then we will give away close to Dh10m worth of gifts, over and above the product.

“However, the freebies won’t be your conventional bundles. As the focus will be on IT this year, Tablets will be an important gadget this year, so the type of offers you will see is laptop bundle that includes a tablet free.”

Both Emax and Jackys heads confirmed, this year, they are doing away with the conventional raffle draws to bring in a more guaranteed winning experience for consumers.

Bhatnagar added: “It will be all about ‘offer’ in 2012, so we have stayed away from raffles where only one person wins and the other misses out. Bundling and giving gifts on every product is the strategy, so every shopper benefits.”

Meanwhile, Jackys’ Panjabi explained their new strategy, saying: “Everything will be done this year from the consumer’s point, seeing us change the way we sell, buy and alter our promotions.

“There will be no raffle this year, but rather Jackys has created its own App this year, which will allow consumers to register on a Tablet and they will know via Sms or email whether they have won.”

Top sellers to nab

“Everything unwired will sell,” revealed Jumbo’s Bhatia, talking about the buying trend this year. “We are strong on IT, which will remain a significant factor for us. But there will be some key items for sure.” 

He added: “Photography is another big category that has proved to be a hot buy.”

Emax heads believe laptops, especially the sleeker and better performing Ultrabooks will be the big seller, aside from the Tablet.

He added: “LCD TVs have also been a significant product in the last three years, as well as photography, which has caught on,” said Bhatnagar. “However, pricing has not be released from the vendors, which will only come the day before Shopper opens.”

Panjabi appeared vary of giving importance to any one product or category at this year’s Shopper, which could turn into the hottest buy this year, saying: “No one category can be mentioned, as Gitex Shopper today has evolved into a family event. It’s not a geek, techie event any more that caters to boys with their toys; it’s for everyone with different tastes.

“Day one will be fascinating, and typically the type of buyer we find then are people who are looking to trade the product out in the market.

“We will see a lot of Christmas buys, people that have been coming in our stores for a few weeks, who have scoped out the products and are now ready to put their money down and pick up the product they like with the deal. That is the market we usually see on day one.”

But Panjabi did confirm that this year’s proximity to Back to School is less and those purchases have been delayed as well so “Tablets will fly off, as well as notebooks. You will also see vendors giving a lot of free software upgrades with Windows 8 being a top draw.”

iPhone 5 anyone?

Apple’s most sought after latest product launch will certainly notch up the curiosity factor within those that haven’t seen the new iPhone 5 as yet.

Yet, all three retail heads appeared conservative in their estimates of the popular smartphone flying off the shelves in a buying frenzy.

Bhatnagar said: “I am not sure if we will see a lot flying [for the iPhone 5], as availability is not certain and pricing is a bit high from the grey market. But it will mark a significant presence for sure at Gitex.”

Jumbo’s Bhatia said: “Of course, any Apple launch is always a hot seller, and those vary of its high price should keep check as it will collapse soon. Maybe not as soon in time for Gitex, but all that has been sourced from the grey market will be sold.”

Jackys’ Panjabi was a little more optimistic in his estimate, saying: “iPhone 5 will sell. Apple will always sell. Critics will have their day, but it will still be bought. They said the same about the iPhone 4S, but it sold.”

However, both Bhatia and Panjabi are also banking on BlackBerry this year, with the former saying: “The brand has had a huge lease on life here. It will be a hot seller too.”

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