Malls brace for Dubai Shopping Festival bonanza

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By Rory Jones   www.thenational.ae

Retailers and malls are hoping for stellar sales during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) as peers in Europe struggle under sluggish economic conditions.

Jumbo Electronics, a multi-brand electronics store, projects that sales will jump 50 per cent during DSF compared with a normal month. Pawan Singh / The National
Jumbo Electronics, a multi-brand electronics store, projects that sales will jump 50 per cent during DSF compared with a normal month. Pawan Singh / The National

On the back of a strong year in 2011, in which many retailers enjoyed sales growth in excess of 10 per cent, retail executives are confident DSF’s combination of promotions, events and tourist numbers will bolster this year’s revenue.

“We believe this year will be an extraordinary DSF,” said Firoz Merchant, the chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, which has more than 100 stores across the Middle East. “We think it will be much better than last year.” DSF, which is one of the Dubai Government’s major annual tourist attractions, begins tomorrow and lasts 32 days.

Mr Merchant expects sales at this DSF to exceed last year’s figures by 20 to 30 per cent as tourists flock to the UAE and Pure Gold looks for low-margin, high-volume business rather than high-margin sales.

“There’s a beautiful flow of tourists in the market,” Mr Merchant said. “We have had very good sales in the past 10 days.”

Jumbo Electronics, a multi-brand electronics store, projects that sales will jump 50 per cent during DSF compared with a normal month, and the retailer is spending more than Dh1 million (US$272,249) this year on advertising with radio and newspaper promotions and leaflets.

“Last year was a great year,” said Nadeem Khanzadah, the deputy general manager for retail at Jumbo. “2011 DSF was a great year and this year, building on the momentum of the last couple of promotions, we expect double-digit sales growth of about 14 to 15 per cent.” More info