x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Jumbo Electronics sees increase in sales of gadgets

A boost in sales of popular gadgets, like smart phones and tablet computers, pushed sales up 20 percent for Jumbo Electronics during the last half of 2010.

Two customers watch a 3D television at the Jumbo Electronics store in Mall of the Emirates.
Two customers watch a 3D television at the Jumbo Electronics store in Mall of the Emirates.

Whether they are at home or on the beach, consumers are usually glued to their gadgets - and they are buying more of them.

Sales at the Jumbo Electronics, based in Dubai, surged 20 per cent during the second half of last year, as more shoppers picked up "on the go" gadgets such as tablet computers and smartphones.

Jumbo said consumer confidence was growing as the number of visitors to its stores increased last year. Many of its customers wanted to upgrade their mobile phones - at a rapid clip of every six to 10 months - to take advantage of newer touchscreen technology and the ability to more seamlessly surf the web.

Sales of smartphones alone at Jumbo jumped 35 per cent last year from 2009.

"2011 is a year of game-changing technology for consumer electronics," said Deepak Khetrapal, the company's chief executive. "Not only are tablets and smartphones revolutionising the way we work and connect, but 3D TV is changing the face of the home entertainment experience."

The company declined to release share figures, but according to a report last September from the market research firm Euromonitor International: "Jumbo Electronics has set itself a target of Dh4 billion [US$1.08bn] in revenues by the time it opens its 50th store. Although no particular timeframe has been given, the company believes it can achieve this by 2012."

Though it's still early in the new year, this has been the strongest start to a year since 2008, the company said. One advantage for Jumbo is that it is the only specialist retailer with a presence in all seven emirates, according to a report from Euromonitor. "The smaller northern emirates are typically ignored, despite the boom that they are currently experiencing," the report said.

Jumbo hopes to continue to capitalise on the booming technology sector as the month-long Dubai Shopping Festival opens tomorrow. The company has been a key sponsor of the festival for some years and projects sales at the event will increase 25 per cent over last year's results.

Jumbo is also pushing ahead with an ambitious expansion plan to extend its market beyond the UAE and Oman, and into neighbouring GCC countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

It is also expanding the non-retail side of its operations - which currently makes up three quarters of its overall business - by offering IT solutions and more consumer appliances through its Supra brand.