DSF boosts sales of electronic goods

Buy one, get one free offer is attracting many customers. (EB FILE)

Retailers of electronic goods said the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has given the sector a shot in the arm with sales increasing thanks to tempting special offers.

The month-long promotion has unleashed pent-up demand following a period of falling sales.

"The electronics trade started falling in the third quarter of 2008 and declined by between 10 to 15 per cent in 2009 and the negative trend continued until the DSF started," said D Bhavani, CEO, Eros Group, Samsung distributor.

"Due to a lot of negative reports about DP World's debt and the overall gloomy economic atmosphere, consumers had tightened their spending and this continued until January this year. But with the announcement of the DSF offers, consumers opened their wallets and sales rose 35 per cent compared with the previous DSF.

"There are a lot of good offers in the market that are tempting many consumers to buy electronic goods. Some consumers bought gadgets during the Gitex, which lasted just a week.

"Business was not very encouraging at Gitex, but the DSF lasts for a month and customers are not reluctant to spend money."

He said his company's special offers included a deal where the buyer of a 55-inch Samsung LCD TV received a free 46-inch LED model.

"The buy one, get one free offer is attracting many potential customers to the electronics market. In fact, we have been short of some products. Because of the slow market movement, electronic traders were keeping only low levels of inventory, but the DSF sales have changed the market sentiment.

"The panel market has been expanding month by month and we will be up by 50 to 60 per cent in terms of volume during the DSF.

"Most DSF customers are UAE and GCC nationals. A lot of visitors from India are taking electronic goods to India. A plasma TV is now available for Dh1,999 compared with Dh3,000 a year ago," said Bhavani.

He said the overall mobile phone market has declined by 20 per cent, but Samsung has seen its business volume increase by between 50 and 60 per cent.

"Value-wise the growth was only 10 per cent but because of the pricing, Samsung has increased its market share from 24 per cent to 40 per cent. Price, reliability and improved software quality and features benefited Samsung mobile phones. The introduction of customer-friendly software also helped Samsung mobile phones.

"We have not retrenched any staff. In fact, the staff strength rose by seven to 15 per cent due to the acquisition of ETA's consumer division. Eros is also preparing to launch a new line-up of laptops in the UAE."

Ahmed Ashraf, Business Head of Al Sayegh Brothers Imaging, which distributes LG, Palson, Tohatsu and Royal London products, said: "We are giving a Dh100 gift voucher to every customer buying an Olympus camera. We have seen a 25 to 30 per cent increase in sales after the Burj Khaleefa opening and because of the DSF promotions.

"Due to stiff competition, prices of electronic gadgets are coming down. Sales in our electronic shops in Dubai Mall have shot up recently thanks to the DSF.

An LCD TV that cost Dh1,999 during last year's DSF is only Dh1,149 now.

"We manage the service centre of Olympus cameras and our customers get a 100 per cent international warranty. For LG products, customers get a worldwide guarantee," said Ashraf.

Ashish Panjabi, CEO, Jackys Electronics, said business was picking up even though the credit situation remains tight.

"During DSF, there is greater engagement from the mall managements through community activities that raise awareness. Malls spend more on promotional activities."

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