GITEX Shopper venue move welcomed by retailers
DWTC location and timings will boost footfall, vendors believe
Dubai World Trade Centre today joined with its major retail partners to celebrate the opening of GITEX Shopper 2012 on 29 September.
Along with C-level executives from Jackys, CompuME, Jumbo Electronics and Emax, Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of DWTC, emphasised the change of venue from Airport Expo Dubai as a significant enabler for the consumer electronics fair.
"GITEX Shopper at the Dubai World Trade Centre benefits from an extensive venue," said Almarri.
"The infrastructure promises both exhibitors and visitors a new level of shopping experience as GITEX Shopper will now occupy 35,000 square metres, providing a 25% increase in retail shopping space, allowing exhibitors and retailers to showcase a greater variety of [products].
"The Trade Centre Metro is now right on the doorstep of GITEX Shopper for transportation convenience and ease of access to the event. There is great accessibility to on-site parking and park-and-ride facilities at connecting Metro stations."
Almarri expects location and timing to combine in driving footfall and revenue figures ever upwards. In terms of sales, not all Shopper retailers share figures with DWTC, but last year reported revenues were approximately AED193m, which Almarri said was a significant increase over the previous year. Given the proximity to various modes of public transport and the fact that the Shopper event will not clash with the B2B-oriented Technology Week, Almarri expects a "double-digit" percentage increase in last year's figure.
Retail partners were also encouraged by the change of venue and timing.
"Jumbo is one of the earliest supporters of GITEX shopper," said Vishesh Bhatia, CEO of Jumbo Electronics. "The move of venue separates the event from Technology Week, which is good for us because we participate in both events. Jumbo is looking to have double-digit increase in its business throughput."
"We are very excited about the benefits [derived from] the change in venue and the [proximity] of the Metro," said Neelesh Bhanagar, CEO of Emax. "We place great importance on this event as a key retailer in the region and we feel it will be a massive boost for the electronics sector over the next few months."
Almarri also confirmed the extended opening hours that have been welcomed by shoppers and retailers alike. On the closing weekend, doors will remain open until 11pm. While retailers remain tight-lipped on deals and launches, organisers have promised "an increase in launches in mobility products, netbooks and cameras by leading brands".
Competitions and gimmicks continue to take their expected place among the GITEX Shopper hype. DWTC revealed that over AED50m in giveaways would take place over the eight-day event, including the prize of a 2013 Ford Mustang and LG gift vouchers worth AED1,500, the entry for both being automatic for every visitor.
Other competitions include a scratch-and-win opportunity for a Samsung Galaxy S3, stall competitions for Ultrabooks, headphones and tablets and the chance to go head to head with world-renowned Ukranian gaming clan Navi at the Dell-CompuME Alienware Experience Zone.
This year some vendors will be getting into the spirit of progress by running their competitions through mobile devices. Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jackys, which clocks up an average of two months of sales at the eight-day GITEX Shopper, said the retailer would be running its raffle through mobility applications.
"Instead of raffle coupons we have transferred [the offers] to a tablet," Panjabi said. "We have developed our own app and have tablets at all of our stands so customers can [enter their details] and get the coupon in the form of an SMS or email and find out if they have won [by the same method]."
DWTC and its partners expect the main focus of consumers to be mobility at this year's Shopper.
"Ultrabooks are definitely the mainstay at the moment especially with Windows 8 around the corner," said Jackys' Panjabi. "The iPhone buzz is also prominent so smartphones are going to be important, as will tablets."