Dubai: Key retailers in Dubai have hailed the Dubai World Trade Centre’s announcement to merge the April and October editions of Gitex Shoppers into one this year.

The Gitex Shopper Spring event, which had been due to run from April 3 to 7, has been merged into the main autumn event, to run from October 2-6, DWTC, organisers of the event, said in a statement on Thursday.

The move reduces the original Gitex Autumn Shopper from eight days to five days.

Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer at Jacky’s Business Solutions, told Gulf News that it is an indication of a busy retail calendar. “There are a lot of events lined up, and definitely, they are overlapping in a short period of time.

“Merging the two events into one probably represents where the market is right now. It will work well as the impact will be stronger as it is five days for this year. Everyone has to be mindful of the costs associated with the retail, and it is not cheap,” he said.

Atul Joshi, head of distribution at Jumbo Electronics, said that the merger will create a more “focused framework”.

“We see that October Gitex will be a great success. Already a lot of promotions are running in the stores and we do believe that October Gitex will have a more focused approach,” he said.

Joshi is not impacted by the reduction of the event to five days, and said the bulk of the business happens in the first few days.

According to both the retailers, consumer electronics sales have picked in March after a weak period of two months since the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) in the UAE in January.

“We have seen an improvement in sales in March. January and February were soft but November and December were much better when compared year-on-year. April should be better,” Panjabi said. Joshi echoed similar sentiments.

With 2018 Fifa World Cup to take place in Russia, Panjabi said that TV sales are expected to spike during the pre-Ramadan period, with a lot of retailers expected to offer promotions.

“The World Cup this year is in the same time zone as the UAE. Last year, it was in Brazil and we were in a completely different time zone. Four Arab nations are also competing this time for the World Cup,” he said, indicating an uptake in future TV sales.