Dubai: The tech and electronics retailer Sharaf DG has opened its’s 23rd store in the UAE, at Dubai Hills Mall. And along with the gadgets, the retailer wants to stack up on experiences.
“Shopping is buying an experience and the product comes along with it,” said Nilesh Khalkho, CEO, Sharaf DG. “That’s what we are working on. We are working on how we can be different from the online market.
“Pricing has been the biggest attraction for online shoppers, said Khalkho. “As long as the pricing between brick-and-mortar stores and online are similar, people will prefer to buy from the store because of the touch and feel experience.”
Spanning over 14,000 square feet, Sharaf DG’s Dubai Hills Mall location will be home to over 400 plus brands.
Dedicated brand zones will feature experts passing on how those brands can shape further experiences with consumers.
According to Khalkho, “Products can be bought online, but what makes a physical store different is the experience.”
The store includes in-store digital experience, a power wall, and RAAS screens to keep the customers informed of the latest promotions.
Within the new showroom, Sharaf DG has launched a dedicated zone for audio - DG Hertzz. It brings together music brands and a range of home and professional audio
Yasser Sharaf, Vice President - Retail and Financial Services, Sharaf DG, said: “If you’re looking to buy a speaker, you can experience all the different speakers from different brands in the same area.”
Offline consumer goods?
The Sharaf DG online platform offers everything from tech to daily consumer needs. Will this be the next strategy for the physical stores too?
The CEO said selling grocery online was a way of testing ways to perform better than the traditional grocery stores - whether online or offline. “There has been some experimentation for the future, where basically you put food in your fridge and the fridge will tell you when and what to replenish,” said Khalkho.
Sharaf has plans to build its tech offering and enter other categories. “We are not looking at offline services, but want to advance with tech to enter into other categories - and then provide services better than our competitors.”
Over the past five years, Sharaf DG has closed stores that did not perform well, instead, the retailer is keen to open showrooms in malls.
Compared to previous years, the store size has increased. “Our average size is close to around 20,000 square feet, which basically is the right one when you want to offer a range of products across different brands.”
Geographically, Dubai Hills is unique because of its location, it will cater to what we call the ‘new Dubai’