Ramadan Promotions Attract Shoppers

RIYADH: Marking another turning point in the history of consumer promotions in the retail sector, more than 200 cars of different makes are being given away to the lucky winners during Ramadan this year by leading supermarkets and business houses in the capital city. This is in addition to several other valuable prizes to be won in raffles, gifts given by fast food outlets to children and a range of game and fun items offered by recreational parks in Riyadh.

“In fact, for retailers in Saudi Arabia, Ramadan’s significance extends beyond its religious relevance because it represents a traditional boost in sales as consumers attracted by mega promotions go on shopping sprees, lapping up everything from caps to cars,” said Qamar Arefin, a Pakistani executive.

Almost all shopping centers, mainly the hypermarkets of the city, have announced mega Ramadan promotions this year, mainly in the forms of brand new cars. And, this Ramadan is no different for Balsharaf Corp, a leading chain of supermarkets in Riyadh. Balsharaf, which owns and operates more than 10 retail locations, has announced promotional prices for a whole range of consumer durables including groceries.

Danube has also announced a hefty 50 percent discounts on a range of products. Al-Raya supermarket, on the other hand, has put on offer a total of 18 cars to be won by customers until Sept. 25. As usual, consumers in Saudi Arabia are facing the problem of choice as a plethora of promotions and sales target them in the holy month. Prime Stores, Giant Supermarkets, Carrefour, Wataniya and Big House have also announced promotions with some of them offering cars as prizes to Ramadan shoppers.

“In fact, the trend of promotion is growing in this country,” said Abdullah Shafi, an Egyptian shopper, here yesterday. “Taking advantage of this shopping splurge, the business community in the country has pulled out all plugs to keep the cash counters ringing during the season,” said Shafi. Though consumables undoubtedly register the biggest sales increases, thanks to iftar parties, there is a massive surge across other segments as well. Sectors such as automobile, electronics, white goods and personal accessories also see a surge in sales.

Zahid Tractor has announced a special Ramadan promotion under which it is giving away its new Renault Safrane at the lowest-ever monthly instalment of SR1,399. Chrysler in Saudi Arbaia is also not lagging behind. United Motors has announced a promotion on Chrysler 300. To add to this list is Marhaba Restaurant, the leading chain of Pakistani restaurants, which has unveiled an exciting promotion for its customers during Ramadan giving them an opportunity to experience the best in cuisine from the subcontiment.

Apart from this, several business houses from outside the Kingdom have also been trying to lure investors from Saudi Arabia. Schon Properties, the developers behind the AED3 Billion Dubai Lagoon, yesterday announced “Customers, who purchase an apartment at Dubai Lagoon during Ramadan, will have their existing rent paid for one year.”

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