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Sharjah’s The Big Shopper expo tops all expectations

Retailers look forward to increased floor space at second edition to be held in May or June

Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
The Big Shopper expo focused on the needs of consumers based in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.
Gulf News

Dubai: Sharjah’s first Consumer Electronics Fashion (CEF) The Big Shopper expo has beaten all expectations of the organisers and participating retailers.

Antoine Georges, managing director of Dome Exhibitions, organisers of the event, told Gulf News that he did not expect the first Sharjah event to be a big success.

“Even though we targeted about 75,000 visitors, retailers said that keeping an entry fee will demotivate visitors but at the end it has beaten all our expectations,” he said.

The curtains fell on the three-day event taking placing at Expo Centre Sharjah on Saturday.

Organisers were expecting a footfall of 75,000 and Dh40 million in sales value before the start of the event.

Jacob Varghese, organiser of the CEF, said that he expected both the footfall and sales figures to cross the target by the end of the event due to ample free parking at the venue and repeated purchases from customers.

Varghese said the exact footfall and value will be reported in the next two days.

He said that most of the participating retailers have agreed to take part in the second edition of the event, which is expected to be held in May or June next year with an increased floor space from the 8,000 square metres this year.

The key retailers who took part this year are Axiom Telecom, Sharaf DG, PlugIns, Jashanmal, Better Life, Splash, Sportsone, Xpressions, Aldo and Tommy Hilfiger.

Prakash Bambani, CEO of Xpressions, said that he was not prepared for such a big crowd.

“Our initial expectations were that an event is Sharjah will not attract such a big crowd due to an entry fee. I was surprised from the first day itself. We shifted more stocks every day to the event from our warehouse,” he said.

He said that the event was well organised and buyers came from all parts of the Northern Emirates.

Antoine said the event was focused on the needs of consumers based in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates as the concept here is to integrate the buying pattern and trends that will work and benefit the consumer.

He said discounts of up to 80 per cent on select categories and bundle offers paid off well.

A Jashanmal sales head said that Clarks shoes will be added for the second edition. He too said that his team was not prepared for such a turnout.

Suhail Rahman, from Ajman, said that he had come back a second day after seeing the big discounts on top brands. “CEF is a mix of electronics, fashion and lifestyle, which is good for the family. Me, my wife and my two kids bought what we wanted, so no issues in the family,” he said.

Ebrahim Moustafa, from Dubai, said that he came to know about the event from his friend who had checked it out on Friday. “I got trolley bags for one-third of the original price and a 55-inch TV for half the price. The same retailer was not offering the same price for the TV even at Gitex Shopper,” he said.

Varghese said that the feedback from visitors has been to add kitchenware and more items for children for the second edition of the event.

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