Clocking out of the race to the rails

Clocking out of the race to the rails
10 January 2013

IF YOU'RE in the region chances are you're already being bombarded with enthusiastic marketing and eye-watering ‘rock bottom’ deals in the wake of the Dubai Shopping Festival.

‘DSF’ as it is affectionately nicknamed brings with it lavish opening and closing ceremonies, flamboyant daily raffle prizes, bouts of tourists (the Emirates A380 flies three times a day back and forth to Jeddah during the early days of the festival) and a boost to the economy. Looking at last year’s statistics alone, DSF welcomed 4.36 million shoppers and spending totalled a whopping Dhs4.7 billion! With this year’s bash expected to meet or supersede those statistics, all seems to be rosy for Dubai and its residents during the month of January.

A glamourous celebration

However we can’t help but think back to Eid, to the 24-hour mall opening times supposed to encourage ‘marathon’ shopping, and wonder if we are losing sight and getting caught up in hype. It is acknowledged throughout the world that the ‘January sale’ is one of the best times of year to pick up bargains, to exchange unwanted holiday gifts and get more worth from your pennies. DSF and its month-long romp of inviting deals and once-in-a-lifetime winnings would surely be the pinnacle of such events – like everything else, Dubai seems discontented unless it is giving us ‘the very best of the very best’. But what if the deal you got wasn’t that great to start with?

The secret to sales

January sales, as a convention, are a means to an end. Winter and autumn are over, and shops need to make room on their shelves for new stock. If they can get you buying their old, outdated and unwanted stock, great! If they can get you buying in bulk, even better! So imagine this – if they discounted individual prices but proposed packaged buys – 3 for the price of 4, buy one get one free, buy such an item and get the other half price – they could actually be making more money than they would if sales weren’t on in the first place. To set off a kind of ‘buying frenzy’ by dropping prices to ‘rock bottom’ (helpful hint: prices will NEVER be rock bottom – no company will ever sell something for cost price) might just be the most savvy, marketable move. Who wants to hold on to old stock anyway?

It is this thought which keeps my wallet firmly tucked at the bottom of my bag during the sales, cashy community. Whilst the festival is fun to watch and makes for a great atmosphere, I can’t help but see the ‘frenzied stampede’ we are driven into by using herding mentalities.

Stand up and be counted, this year.  Where do YOU fall on the consumer food chain?

Will YOU be attending the Dubai Shopping Festival? Will you be travelling to Dubai during the month? Tell cashy below!

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