The 25th edition of the Gitex Shopper Autumn 2015 concluded on a strong note despite early concerns.
Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax Electronics, said that on the first day they were very sceptical.
"We were not achieving a single-digit growth. On the fifth day, we saw some traction and the sixth day was better. On Friday, it broke all records and brought the smile back on everybody's face,” he said.
He is confident of meeting the company's sales target.
"Laptops are doing well and with the iPhones being launched, smartphones are expected to steal the show. We have done some revisions for some products, especially tablets, which were slow moving and we are trying to clear it out,” he said.
For some retailers, smartphones are the best-selling category with laptops following closely behind.
The TV and camera sales have fallen despite retailers offering discounts and offers.
Bhatnagar said that TV sales have been slow as there isn't any mega or sporting event to boost the sales.
"Discarding the old model or replacing it with bigger screen sizes is not a necessity for people. It is not a compulsory spend. TVs are not an item for tourists and they don't carry with them. I haven't seen much of the tourists at the event, may be they will come during the weekend,” he said.
Nadeem Khanzadah, head of omnichannel retail at Jumbo Group, also said that TV sales are much lower than last year.
However, Plug Ins said TV sales have been better than last year.
"The positive difference this year is in panels. Camera sales have been very weak and even lower than last year,” said Omar Abu Shaban, general manager for Plug Ins.
Over the weekend, crowds surged. On Friday, after the Juma prayer, the crowd had to be controlled by the Police until 7.30pm. The Police had to place barricades at the ticket counter.
On the last day of Gitex, some retailers were offering buy-one-and-get-two-phones-free deals.
Anish Ibrahim, a resident of Dubai, said that Gitex is the place to be and especially on the last day.
"Every year, I come in the afternoon and roam around the stalls. The deals keep changing and you're tempted to buy everything. I bought a Toshiba laptop and some few second-tier smartphone brands as I am going on a holiday and that is the best gift my relatives and friends look for,” he said.
Mahesh Chotrani, assistant vice-president of Jacky's Electronics, said that for Jacky's, notebooks are in number one by far, followed by smartphones.
Before the start of the show, retailers had bet on smartphones to steal the limelight and then notebooks but it was the other way around.
"We hope to meet our sales target as Thursday and Friday were the best days for us. If we have the same crowd as on Friday [Saturday] we will meet our target,” said Khanzadah.
Bhatnagar said the biggest surprise for him was home appliances.
"We were selling them very fast, especially washing machines and fridges. We tried as an experiment and it turned out to be a big success,” he said.
The official figures, relating to footfall and sales revenues, are not expected to be released until later next week.
Source: Gulf News