Round-the-clock shopping proves lucrative


December 20, 2012 | By RetailME Bureau

Mark up one more success for Dubai Events & Promotions Establishment (DEPE). The agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) tasked with promoting Dubai as a year-round shopping and entertainment haven has done itself proud yet again with the fifth edition of its annual ‘Eid in Dubai’ shopping extravaganza, held this year under the unusual ‘Shop All Day, Shop All Night’ slogan. That meant many malls across the emirate remained open to welcome visitors for 60 consecutive hours every weekend from Thursday until Saturday over a period of three weeks from October 18 to November 2, while other retail outlets stayed open till 2am during this non-stop shopping initiative organised in collaboration with Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG).

The city wore its celebratory best, its streets festooned with flags and banners and lit up with festive lights, welcoming guests in the true spirit of traditional Arabichospitality. Excited shoppers and bargain hunters flocked retail outlets such as Mall of the Emirates, Mirdif City Centre, Deira City Centre, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Festival City, Ibn Battuta Mall, Arabian Centre and Lamcy Plaza to take advantage of the AED1 million worth of cash prizes on offer as well as other mouth-watering discounts and promotions. Others preferred relaxing in cafes, enjoying the performances of stilt walkers, clowns and wandering musicians, or attending the string of events organised during the 15 days of celebration, which included carnivals, cultural events, impressive live performances and children’s workshops.

“We appreciate the commendable response we received from malls and other retail outlets, which came together at such short notice to make the initiative memorable. This collaboration between the government and the private sector is what makes Dubai unique. Over 80% of the retailers participated with promotions, more than 50% offered sales and the rest offered discounts,” observes Saeed Mohammad Mesam Al Falasi, strategic alliance director at DEPE.

“We ensured optimum operational support for malls and retailers in terms of hiring staff and organising events to keep visitors engaged, enticing them with attractive offers especially after midnight. Our joint efforts helped boost the ‘Ediyat Dubai’ raffle campaign, which gave shoppers the chance to win AED100,000 in prize money for everyAED200 they spent,” he adds.

Survey shows its thumbs up for the initiative from visitors and retailers

According to Al Falasi, the response from every quarter was extremely positive. “In fact, we conducted a survey of participating malls to gauge consumer sentiment, especially post-midnight, interviewing visitors, retailers from all segments as well as mall operators to get their reactions. Over 91% of consumers expressed enthusiasm about the unprecedented initiative, with 81% saying they were keen to visit malls after midnight and, most importantly, over 74% keen to avail of the lucrative shopping offers. The response from retailers and mall operators, who worked closely with each other, was equally positive, although they did say they should have had more time to prepare and plan even better and more interesting promotions, offers and discounts for shoppers,” he elaborates.

Al Falasi points out that the response over the three week period showed a rising curve as the festivities picked up tempo and the holiday period drew to a close. “The reports we received from malls reveals that the first weekend was relatively sluggish, while the second Eid Al Adha weekend was truly a game changer as tourists thronged the city and the third one was equally busy as well. For most retailers the peak hours were from midnight to 3am, while F&B players attracted visitors until six in the morning. While retailers had items on sale throughout the day, they factored in additional promotions post-midnight to ensure steady footfall,” he observes.

Among the segments that performed exceptionally well were electronics, fashion and accessories, which recorded 15% growth in sales. The F&B segment registered up to a 12% increase, while the other non- F&B segments witnessed an 11% rise.

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