Abu Dhabi: Sharaf DG, the electronics retail store in the UAE, opened its second branch in Abu Dhabi Thursday at Mushrif Mall.
Following the group's first store in Abu Dhabi last April which attracted a crowd of over 40,000 people for its opening, this time Sharaf DG decided to go with a soft opening that is promotion-free.
"The mall is also not ready, so we thought we'd wait till Eid time for our special promotions," said Yasser Sharaf, managing director of Sharaf DG, to Gulf News Thursday.
The new outlet, the 20th for the group, is one of several store openings that are expected in 2011 for the group.
"We have a plan this year to open up in Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and one more store in Dubai with Union Coop in Al Barsha," Sharaf said. "So we'll be up to 24 stores, but of course it's all depending on the landlords if they're giving us the lots on time or not."
Sharaf told Gulf News that the group has a plan to expand in the GCC within the next five years such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and more expansions in Bahrain.
"The number of shops we're looking at is maybe double the number we have today, so hopefully another 20 stores," he added.
Growth in sales went up almost 23 per cent during 2011 compared to the same period last year, said Sharaf.
"This year has been a good year and better than expected. What we planned was for growth of about 10-15 per cent," he said. "We're hoping to close the year around 30 per cent since the last quarter of the year is usually the better quarter."
Nilesh Khalkho, chief executive officer at Sharaf DG, said that until last year the focus was Dubai and Sharjah, but that it has become important to be present in the other emirates as well. "We've grown very aggressively. I shall say 100 per cent year on year since we launched our first store in 2005," he said.