People shopping in the Nine West stall during the Sharjah Consumer electronics and Fashion expo at Sharjah Expo. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: Sharjah’s second Consumer Electronics Fashion (CEF) The Big Shopper expo got off to a strong early start on Wednesday.

The four-day event, which was supposed to be opened at 10am, opened at 9.30am as there were big queues waiting to get inside.

Antoine Georges, managing director of Dome Exhibitions, organisers of the event, told Gulf News that the crowd being allowed in early was similar to last year.

“I was expecting a bigger crowd later in the evening but it is a healthy mix of buyers,” he said. The organisers are expecting a footfall of 75,000 and Dh40 million in sales value.

Nilesh Khalkho, Chief Executive Officer at Sharaf DG, said: “We came well prepared for the show and the crowd on Wednesday morning surprised us.”

The show is offering heavy discount on big-name items. Sharaf DG is selling a 78-inch Samsung TV for Dh15,000 that originally sold for Dh34,999. A 70-inch Sharp TV selling for Dh14,999 was marked Dh5,000.

Jashnmal was selling Delsey trolleys, originally priced at Dh1,599 for Dh395, while Grand Stores was selling Samsonite trolley for less than 50 per cent.

Neil Thomas, a Sharjah resident, said that he missed last year’s event.

“So, I decided not to take a chance this time. The prices are unbelievable and the entry fee is also cheap at Dh5. The organisers have arranged the event at the right time as Eid Al Fitr is coming and many people are going to vacation,” he said.

The Northern Emirates have always a neglected area for bargain hunters, he said, and added he hoped for more shopping events to be held in Sharjah and Ajman. Many people do not have the time and patience to go Dubai for shop, he said.

Dome’s Antoine said that 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.

“This year, we have plans to hold the event twice,” he said.

The next will be held from November 29 to December 2.

He said that discounts of up to 75 per cent on select category and bundle offers are offered as distributors are willing to clear their existing inventory and get ready for the next cycle which would directly benefit the visitors.

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

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

This year, the organisers have added ‘home style’ as category based on customer feedback.

All the top retailers and partners such as Sharaf DG, Jashanmal, Sun & Sand Sports, Grand Stores, Xpressions, Home Style, Smart Baby, Iconic, Hello Kitty, and brands such as Nine West, Levis, Nautica and New Balance.

Prakash Bhambani, COO at Xpressions, said that they have doubled their space compared to last year.

“We have added new categories and range to choose from perfumes, watches, handbags, accessories. Customers can get guaranteed exclusive deals which will not be available at our retail stores,” he said.

Manjula Thankamani, from Dubai, said that she bought branded garments worth Dh500, which otherwise would have cost me more than Dh2,000.

“I will definitely come again on Saturday with my friends and family to shop for more,” he said.