UAE Ramadan 2022 shopping deals: Fashion and new car sales to be big winners in early post-COVID-19 promotions

Dubai: Fashion and car sales could emerge as big winners from upcoming Ramadan promotions launched in early April, as hypermarket retailers brace for the biggest surge in demand for groceries and daily needs from next week itself.

“This will be the first post-Covid Ramadan, and that in itself is a trigger for shoppers in the UAE to buy groceries in bulk before the start of Ramadan,” said V. Nandakumar, group chief commercial officer. LuLu. “There will be no shortage of food supplies due to the global shipping and logistics movement situation. Retailers like us have stocked in advance and are committed to providing supplies during the next few weeks.

“Grocery will easily be the biggest category in the first two weeks of Ramadan as there are no more restrictions on Covid-related social activities.”

Guarantee stable prices and offers

The biggest challenge for retailers will be keeping prices stable. Inflation and the high cost of transport are increasing the pressure on almost all categories of consumers, and food is no exception. According to Nandakumar and sources at other retailers, the focus will be more on Ramadan kits for daily grocery needs at “fixed prices”.

“Maintaining prices will be the biggest challenge in the food trade, and many retailers have postponed any increases until after Ramadan,” said a source at one of the major processed food makers.

Face-to-face

It will be the first time in two years that brick-and-mortar sales during Ramadan have had a chance to overtake online power.

Consumers in the UAE need to keep their eyes peeled – and do some instant math – on which category has the best deals and where.

Ensure smooth post-Expo demand

Retailers in the UAE are hoping that Ramadan and subsequent Eid promotions will maintain their volumes now that the Expo ends on March 31. Ramadan sales, they say, can boost sales after Expo, especially in the second half of April.

This is certainly what car dealers in the United Arab Emirates are waiting for. Car sales in the UAE have rebounded strongly from lows in a COVID-19-infected 2020, and since the second half of last year some of the country’s biggest dealerships are seeing improvements month-to-month sales. Ramadan promotions – equivalent to around 10-15% off the sticker price – are already starting to appear for new car sales.

Demand is such that on some luxury models, dealers charge an extra premium on top of the price of the car for anyone who wants immediate delivery. “Of course, on some niche models, premiums were charged in the past, but nothing like what dealerships see today,” said a senior official at a dealership running a German car brand.

There are some great deals offered by dealers – “From longer warranty and service packages – up to seven years – to deferred payment plans of six to 12 months, we expect Ramadan this year to be among the most aggressive for car sales, and by extension for car insurance,” said Avinash Babur, CEO of InsuranceMarket.ae.

Ensure online reach

For online retailers, F&B brands and delivery portals in the UAE, it will be the start of another bumper month. More “virtual-only” F&B brands are hoping to receive orders and a seat on dining tables. According to industry sources, this category has had a strong performance over the past six months, and Ramadan and Eid will keep the momentum going.

So where will the best deals be – online or offline? According to Sandeep Ganediwalla, regional partner at Redseer Consulting, there is hardly any difference these days. Traditional retailers have upped their online game over the past couple of years and can match or improve on any offer offered by online-only platforms. Additionally, these traditional retailers can also do omnichannel, where they take online orders and ensure that the orders are prepared by the buyer at their convenience.

“Omnichannels make up over 40% of the online retail segment in the UAE – and they are increasingly offering similar offerings across online and offline channels,” Ganediwalla said. “However, consumer perception continues to favor online offerings.”

Gadget availability

Thinking about a new smartphone? Be sure to check availability, as smartphones and other gadgets continue to suffer from chip shortages. It’s been going on for over a year now, and there’s nothing on the horizon to suggest that this problem will go away anytime soon.

In the United Arab Emirates, e& (formerly Etisalat) and du are becoming influential in this category. “While previous shoppers looked to any e-commerce portal for smartphone choices, now data plan deals are what usually seal the deal,” said one retailer. “That’s why e& and du are becoming dominant channels, and it will become more so as more subscribers sign up for 5G services.”


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Peggy P. Gilmore