Dubai: There’s a consumer myth out there that if you play hard to get and wait until the last few days of Gitex Shopper, you’ll bag the biggest discounts as retailers scramble to get rid of remaining stocks.
Is there any truth to this shopping fable? Retailers have burst our bubble on this happy ending to Gitex Shopper, saying that stocks may not last on popular products and vendors are exerting pressure to keep prices stable.
“In some of the categories of products, you tend to get an adjustment downwards, but this year, there’s greater discipline in the market. We don’t anticipate a reduction in prices. Vendors are telling retailers: ‘Please behave yourself and don’t have any of that’,” Vishesh Bhatia, chief executive of Jumbo Electronics, said.
Any remaining stocks at the end of Shopper can return to the stores, he said, rather than be sold at further slashed prices.
Neelesh Bhatnagar, chief executive of Emax, is even more blunt about it.
“It’s a myth. This used to happen lots of years back. But in the last few years of Gitex, there’s no desperation. Vendors are exerting a lot of control and retailers can’t cut prices. There can’t be a significant drop in prices because margins are not very high in these products,” he said.
It comes down to supply and demand: Killer offers are valid only while stocks last. So, waiting until the last few days means you may not even find the product you want, especially if it’s a fast-seller, Nilesh Khalkho, chief executive of Sharaf DG, said.
“I’m not saying that nothing will be available or prices won’t be slashed, but it depends on what offer [and product] you are looking for,” he said. “If the offer is attractive, don’t wait for the last day, just take it.”
While some consumers will wait until the last days to make a purchase, others are wary of the frenzied sales attack then.
“At the end, there will be too much rush. You won’t get what you want. I’m looking for a smart TV. I will buy now. Maybe the prices will be cheaper later but I’m coming from Abu Dhabi, so I won’t be here,” Edward Alva, a visitor to the Shopper, said.
Another visitor, Young Jae Kim, a student, said: “You won’t find all the products available on stock in the end. Stuff that won’t sell will probably be cheaper later, no?”
Others like to just get it over and done with. “If I like something here, I might as well pick it up now,” Rajeev Kheera, a marine consultant, said.
One sales advisor at a major store said: “Prices will go down and offers will be more in the last two to three days for everything. It’s better to wait.”