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Dubai retailers ratchet up with 75% discounts for DSF

Even 90% ‘flash sales’ have been done to get shoppers come back strongly

Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News archives
Shoppers at Festival city. Dubai’s apparel and other retailers can offer discounts of up to 75 per cent during the upcoming Shopping Festival starting December 26.

Dubai: Dubai’s apparel and other retailers can offer discounts of up to 75 per cent during the upcoming Shopping Festival starting on December 26 - higher than the 50 per cent to 60 per cent norm that was the case in previous years. 

Also, in what could have a lot of shoppers queuing up at their favourite stores, discounts of up to 90 per cent will be available on January 1 and 2 as part of a “flash sales”, senior industry sources confirm. 

The 90 per cent discount offer was tried for the first time over the National Day weekend earlier this month. 

“It is an opportunity for retailers to clear stocks and hope to generate considerable revenues,” said Saher Gharaibeh, Group General Manager at Al Madani Group. “The offers for DSF 2017 are extremely attractive and in many ways unprecedented.

“The 75 per cent discount is a calculated move on the move of the retailers, mall managements and the authorities to give a major boost to sales for the New Year. There’s every chance that this tactical move will work.”

Clearly, shoppers are being given every opportunity to head back to the stores and start buying like they used to.

This year has been an exceptionally tough one for the retail sector, with volumes down by more than 15 per cent to 20 per cent. In categories such as luxury, the dent to sales would be closer to 30 per cent to 40 per cent from the year before, which too was not an exceptional one by any standards. 

Retail industry sources say that by limiting the 90 per cent on flash sales to just two days, they will better manage people’s expectations about constant and deep discounts. The last thing the retail industry needs is for shoppers to assume that 75 per cent to 90 per cent offers are the new normal. 

“This is a tactical move on the part of the authorities in allowing a higher discount percentage,” said a source. “If as a result, there are higher sales all through the campaign ending January 28, it will mean retailers will have less reason to worry about holding older stocks. At this moment, stock management is the biggest concern retailers have, because sales have been extremely indifferent all through the year.” 

It is up to the individual retailer to decide which stocks carry the extent of the discount offer. Retailers are also hoping these will entice tourists and visitors to Dubai over the next 34 days will also start picking up on these campaigns. The fact that city hotels are starting to inch towards high occupancy levels should make it easier for the retail trade as well. 

The malls are recording bustling activity in recent weekends - but so far most of the shopping is confined to looking through the windows or going over the pricing of the merchandise on display. But, come December 26, the floodgates could well open and these could then translate into actual buying at the tills. 

For retailers, the December 25 to January 2 timeframe will be the most critical one in recent years. They have everything to play for.

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