By Gavin Davids
Mobile handsets and tablets set to drive a forecast 20 percent sales growth in 2011, says CEO
Retail giant Jumbo Electronics saw Gulf sales of $2bn in 2010, driven by a 20 percent rise in sales in the second half of the year, its CEO said on Tuesday.
Sale volumes increased by 50 percent across the year when compared to 2009, Deepak Khetrapal told Arabian Business. The company is forecasting growth of between 18 to 20 percent in 2011.
“We had a bit of a struggle in the first half of the year, as everybody knows, but in the second half we started doing a few things internally, without going ‘in your face’,” said Khetrapal.
“We tweaked lots of things and, because of which, we actually clocked a growth of more than 20 percent in the market,” he said.
In 2009’s post-recession economy, Khetrapal said demand for popular electronic products in the Gulf remained strong.
“We grew by six or seven percent [in 2009]. There was still growth because we kept adding products, as a business, you cannot afford to de-grow. Luckily, we’re in a segment where there’s always more exciting products in the market and consumers wanting more and more. So that helped us, unlike some traditional business,” he said.
Going forward, sales of mobile handsets, smartphones and tablets are poised to be the largest driver of growth, as manufacturers wade in to compete with Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy.
“The biggest growth that we’ve seen has come from mobile handsets. Every third month, people seem to want to change their handset, which is good news for electronic traders,” Khetrapal said. “There’s very large excitement that the new tablets are creating in the market. Almost every PC and laptop manufacturer is now talking about bringing out a tablet,” he said.
The Dubai Shopping Festival, which begins this week, is also expected to provide an early impetus for the year’s sales, with Jumbo anticipating a 25 percent increase in sales for the month.
Despite rising competition Jumbo, which operates more than 30 stores across the Gulf, is confident it will retain its market share by targeting higher-spending consumers.
“We do not want to be everything to everyone; we do not want to be the cheapest seller of products. Some other people keep claiming, ‘You find it cheaper and we’ll give it to you free,’ we’ll never make that claim,” Khetrapal said. “Our platform is ‘value for money,’ and it’s backed up by a service that I don’t think anyone can match.”