Retailers looking to Gitex for sales bump

The semi-annual electronics jamboree Gitex Shopper starts this week, with many retailers looking for a sales bump to offset an underwhelming 2015.

The event, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from Wednesday to Saturday, is renowned for its bundles of electronic products at bargain prices.

“Last year was challenging so we are hoping for a big Gitex Shopper,” said Omar Abushaban, the general manager for Plug-Ins, a multi-brand consumer electronics and IT retailer in Dubai. “Although we are expecting a slightly less busy event we are still expecting a 10 per cent jump in sales. Last year we recorded a 15 per cent bump,” he said.

“We have found the replacement cycles for smartphones are getting longer as the technical differences become smaller. Also, in times of economic uncertainty, bargains and bundles always do well as people wait for the events to buy.”

Neelesh Bhatnagar, the chief of Emax Electronics, among the largest electronics retailers in the Middle East, said the the start of 2016 was slow but March has experienced an uptick in revenues. He said caution was still the order of the day, but Gitex Shopper was still a hugely important event.

“We are expecting a 10 to 15 per cent jump in sales growth on last year,” said Mr Bhatnagar.

“The importance of Gitex has grown over the years as electronics retailers can use it as a springboard for sales.

“While online retailing is growing slowly, traditional events like this are still the key to most retailer’s success.”

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