“Prices have been the biggest attraction for online shoppers, Khalkho said. “As long as the prices between physical and online stores are similar, people will prefer to buy from the store because of the touch experience.”
Spanning over 14,000 square feet, Sharaf DG’s Dubai Hills Mall will host over 400 brands.
Dedicated brand areas will feature experts explaining how these brands can shape new experiences with consumers.
According to Khalkho, “Products can be purchased online, but what differentiates a physical store is the experience.”
The store includes a digital in-store experience, a food wall and RAAS screens to keep customers informed of the latest promotions.
In the new showroom, Sharaf DG has launched a dedicated area for audio – DG Hertzz. It brings together music brands and a range of home and professional audio
Yasser Sharaf, Vice President – Retail and Financial Services, Sharaf DG, said, “If you’re looking to buy a speaker, you can find all the different speakers from different brands in the same area.”
The Sharaf DG online platform offers everything from technology to everyday consumer needs. Will this be the next strategy for physical stores as well?
The CEO said selling groceries online was a way to test ways to outperform traditional grocery stores, whether online or offline. “There have been experiments for the future, where you basically put food in your fridge and the fridge will tell you when and what to restock,” Khalkho said.
Sharaf intends to expand its technology offering and enter other categories. “We are not looking at offline services, but want to progress with technology to enter other categories – and then provide better services than our competitors.”
Over the past five years, Sharaf DG has closed stores that were not performing well, instead the retailer is keen to open showrooms in malls.
Compared to previous years, the size of the store has increased. “Our average size is close to around 20,000 square feet, which is basically the right size when you want to carry a range of products from different brands.”
Geographically, Dubai Hills is unique due to its location, it will respond to what we call the “new Dubai”
– Yasser Sharaf, Vice President – Retail and Financial Services, Sharaf DG