IT kit flies off shelves during DSF

IT retail chains in the UAE have reported bumper sales for the 2004 Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) period with strong year-on-year growth rates as the IT retail channel continues to grow.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 11, 2004

IT retail chains operating in Dubai reported strong sales during the recent month-long Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). Jacky’s Electronics reported sales up 60% year-on-year for the festival period — due largely to the opening of its showroom in Deira City Centre shopping mall. Stripping out the effects of its new retail premises, underlying organic sales growth still climbed a healthy 25% year-on-year for Jacky’s. Jumbo’s sales were up 43% year-on-year and Plug-Ins Electronix boosted its sales 72% year-on-year for the two-month period of January and February 2004. “This DSF has clearly proven that IT business is moving towards the malls,” says Soni Tolani, executive director at Jacky’s. “Since vendors started acclaiming companies like Jacky’s as power retailers, we have experienced a tremendous increase in IT sales. Due to concentrated efforts by vendors and Jacky’s itself, we have managed to grow sales, margins and confidence levels.” Jacky’s also reported strong sales of laptops, PDAs, peripherals, digital devices and TFT monitors. During DSF alone, Jacky’s sold more than 500 laptops with brands such as HP, Acer and Toshiba flying off the shelves. With laptops generally retailing in the US$1000 to US$2000 range, these sales alone could be worth up to US$1m. “Jacky’s tried to take maximum advantage during DSF by offering genuine price drops, bundle offers, free giveaways and attractive raffles,” continues Solani. “Due to a successful media campaign, we were able to communicate our offers to consumers and had a fantastic DSF.” Arvind Agrawal, general manager IT group at Jumbo, points to specific products and lines that performed strongly during DSF: “Pentium 4 and Centrino-based notebooks from HP, Acer, IBM and Fujitsu-Siemens performed well. 15” and 17”LCD monitors had complete dominance over CRT monitors. 94% of the total monitors sold were LCD.” “The sales during the first fortnight of DSF were more buoyant compared to the second fortnight,” adds Agrawal. “Sales in the last two days were much higher than the average, probably due to consumers waiting for additional bargains at the end of DSF.” Post-DSF, Jumbo has already embarked on a promotion campaign to celebrate its 30th birthday. “As a part of this celebration we will be announcing 30 great offers every month across Jumbo Electronics portfolio of products,” says Agrawal. Plug-Ins also reaped the benefits from its expanded retail presence. “In the last quarter of 2003, we concentrated on our outlet positioning, ensuring presence in key locations and malls around the Emirates,” says Scott McKay, general manager at Plug-Ins. “Once we had achieved and established our positioning strategy, the next step was to concentrate on other areas of the mix and ensure our products fulfilled the needs of our customers at the right price with the right promotion. With product bundles that offered outstanding value and aggressive pricing we have managed to achieve a 72% increase in sales over the same period last year.” Plug-Ins reports ‘immense growth’ in the computer, mobile phone and digital camera segments; areas characterised by strong innovation, constant product evolution and the continual development of new products. For all the major IT retailers, strong links to major vendor partners played a critical role in building sales through special promotions, joint advertising campaigns and close working relationships.

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