Special report: How genuine are DSF discounts?

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By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter, XPRESS  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: 70 per cent Off…Bundle Offers…. Cash Back Vouchers… Amazingly Low Prices…

    *  Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/XPRESS     * With retailers across the board trying to outdo each other by offering bigger promotions and discounts, customers are certainly spoilt for choice. Photo for illustrative purposes only.
* Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/XPRESS * With retailers across the board trying to outdo each other by offering bigger promotions and discounts, customers are certainly spoilt for choice. Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In a city where sales and promotions are a year-long affair, you could be forgiven for dismissing the Dubai Shopping Festival as just another sales season. And if you are blasĂ© about the bargains, it’s not your fault. DSF comes right after Christmas and New Year when you could still be suffering from sales fatigue.

Make no mistake. With 6,000 retail outlets and dozens of malls offering discount sales up to 75 per cent, nothing comes even remotely close to DSF. It’s the mother of all sales events.

Rahul Saxena, Head of Marketing at Babyshop, said, “DSF is the first shopping festival of its scale in the region and definitely holds an advantage. It is a period when most retailers across categories try very hard to attract customers, and coming right after the festive season, the offer has to be compelling enough to get a fair share of the wallet. The festivities and events held across the city ensure that shoppers keep coming back to the malls and give retailers a better opportunity to sell.”

The figures say it all. Just this week, Global Village reported a record 500,000 shoppers in the first 10 days of the sale. Around 100,000 visited the festival on Friday alone. A sizeable chunk of the teeming crowds at malls like Dubai Mall – which became the world’s most visited shopping destination by welcoming more than 54 million visitors in 2011 ahead of even New York and Las Vegas – is also clocked in during this period. Most malls report a 20-30 per cent increase in footfall during DSF, with sales of individual brands going up by 20 per cent.

Anchor retailers or the main stores do particularly well, according to Neelesh Bhatnagar, Director, Oasis Centre. “Anchor retailers at malls of our size wield an especially strong pull factor during this period. Owing to the lucrative shopping experience offered during the festival, Oasis Centre records a jump of over 20 per cent in footfall year after year,” said Bhatnagar. More info