'We want to focus on mobile application as a medium to increase online sales. Mobile is the future,' says managing director
Dubai hardware firm Speedex looks to expand across Mena
You may have heard Speedex’s jingle on the radio – and now you will see more of the tools and hardware brand in Dubai, too.
This month it opened its third superstore, in Nadd Al Hamar. Founded in 1991 by chairman Moiz Tayebali, with a vision to become a one-stop shop for DIY customers, the brand currently has two superstores and two showrooms in Dubai, which sell 20,000 products including power tools, hand tools, and hardware. Here, the company’s managing director, Mustafa Moiz, talks to The National about trading in a challenging economy and its future plans for expansion.
How is the economy affecting your business just now?
Our company has always believed in having a sustainable approach to business. We try to incorporate smarter buying and operation practices, which helps us cut costs while maintaining the delicate balance our business requires. Although there is a slight decrease in customer spending, the competitive pricing that we provide keeps a loyal base.
What are your plans for the brand going forward?
As more and more consumers are moving towards online, we will be focusing more on our e-commerce platform by providing seamless customer experience.
Do you already sell products online?
Yes, we sell products on our e-shop. We have a wide range of products on our website, and with just a click of a mouse, products can be delivered at your doorstep. We are also in the process of launching a brand-new website interface, which would provide facilities such as click and collect, DIY advice, weekly offers and so on.
When did you launch the Web service, and have you seen any growth over the past year?
We launched the website in 2014, and yes, it’s grown leaps and bounds from the day we launched. Online shopping has come a long way from being just another new trend – it has grown to become a preferred medium of purchasing for a rising number of consumers in the region. People are leading busy lives, and there is a growing demand for convenience. E-commerce caters to this requirement, making it the future of retail. We strongly believe, once e-commerce players gain consumer trust, people will prefer shopping online, driven by convenience.
How do you plan to expand your online sales?
We want to focus on mobile application as a medium to increase online sales. Mobile is the future. The total number of people accessing the internet exclusively through mobile devices is estimated to grow by more than 25 per cent in the next five years and we would like to capture this market. We also want to focus on timely product delivery as that is the primary reason for a customer to be happy and that’s our utmost priority.
Why are you launching the new superstore in Nad Al Hammar?
We see a huge market opportunity for good quality DIY and home improvement stores in the region. People in Dubai are becoming more sustainable and they want to build things on their own, which is where I feel a store like Speedex can help. We provide that expert knowledge and the right tools and our new store in Nad Al Hammar would do just that.
How will it be different to the stores you already have?
The retail store in Nad Al Hammar will have a completely different look and feel. It has more modern and clean lines and is much more customer friendly, providing easy check outs, pay and pick facility, interactive displays et cetera. I think we have an opportunity to combine the incredible legacy and reputation Speedex has with the efficiency of the upscale retail store model to become an even more relevant, meaningful, clever and distinctive experience for DIY enthusiasts.
Do you intend to open any other superstores? If so, how many more stores do you intend to open and where?
Yes, we are planning to expand quite rapidly with the opening of a new superstore in Abu Dhabi early next year. We also have plans to open another store in northern emirates before the end of next year.
Tell me more about the Abu Dhabi branch you plan to open. How do you see the AD market and your place in it?
There is a gap for a store like Speedex in Abu Dhabi. We get many customers who live in Abu Dhabi but come to shop from our stores in Dubai. Speedex would offer the residents and businesses a convenient and customer focused store where most of their needs would be met with the utmost courtesy and professionalism for any DIY enthusiast or professional entity. As far as the market is concerned, it looks fruitful. With a well structured economic vision and strategy, the Abu Dhabi Government is continuously introducing new initiatives across the key growth industries and that should further strengthen the economic condition of the UAE.