CEF The Big Shopper got off to a strong start Thursday morning at the Sharjah Expo. Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News

DUBAI: Sharjah’s first — Consumer Electronics Fashion (CEF) The Big Shopper — expo got off to a strong early start on Thursday.

The three-day event, which was supposed to be opened at 10am, opened at 9.30am as there were big queues lined up outside.

Antoine Georges, managing director of Dome Exhibitions, organisers of the event, told Gulf News he did not expect the crowd to be here so early.

“I was expecting a bigger crowd later in the evening due to the National Day holiday and it is a healthy mix of buyers,” he said.

He said the main objective of the event is to make the shopping experience easy and fun for the family.

The organisers are expecting a footfall of 75,000 and Dh40 million in sales value.

Deepak Sharma from Fujairah said that prices are unbelievable and the entry fee is also cheap at Dh5.

“I am going on vacation next week but I did not do my shopping and was waiting for this event. I praise the organisers for holding such an event in Sharjah. Northern Emirates was always a neglected area,” he said.

Dubai has Gitex Shopper and many clearance sales, while Abu Dhabi has Abu Dhabi Shopper.

Antoine said the event is 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.

“It is too early to talk about the event. If it is successful, we will hold it every year and also have plans for other emirates,” he said.

He said discounts of up to 80 per cent on select categories and bundle offers are being offered due to it being the end of the year when distributors are willing to clear off their existing inventory and get ready for the next cycle.

Even though the show was for consumer electronics, fashion, sports and lifestyle products, the footfall was bigger at fashion and lifestyle products.

All the top retailers and partners such as Axiom Telecom, Sharaf DG, PlugIns, Jashanmal, Better Life, Splash, Sportsone, Xpressions, Aldo and Tommy Hilfiger were offering up to 80 per cent discounts.

Jashnmal was offering trolley bags worth Dh1,099 for Dh300 and those worth Dh899 for Dh200.

Mariam J, from Dubai, said she bought branded garments worth Dh500, which otherwise would have cost her more than Dh2,000.

“I will definitely come again on Saturday with my husband as he is working today,” she said.

Nilesh Khalkho, chief executive officer at Sharaf DG, said the timing of the show is very convenient since it’s the National Day weekend and hence higher footfall is expected.

Laurent Riche, general manager of PlugIns, said visitors can expect some great offers in smartphones, tablets, notebooks and home appliances. Sharjah needed this kind of a shopping bonanza to cater to consumers in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

Ram Udupi, general manager of Jashanmal, said the event could help boost sales at a time when retailers are seeing diminished sales.

“Our retails outlets in Dubai are struggling, but, at the same time, our sales in Sharjah are improving compared to previous years,” he said.

The show, which takes place at halls two and four, opens from 10am to 11pm, and the ticket is priced at Dh5 while entry for children below 12 years is free.