Price drops, ad campaigns now the lifeline for Egypt’s electronics markets

Price drops, ad campaigns now the lifeline for Egypt’s electronics markets

Difficult economic conditions since the January 25th Revolution have taken a particular toll on the computers and mobile phones market, according to experts in the IT sector. (AFP Photo)

Difficult economic conditions since the January 25th Revolution have taken a particular toll on the computers and mobile phones market, according to experts in the IT sector.
(AFP Photo)

By Muhammad Ala Al-Din and Muhammad Fowzi

Difficult economic conditions since the January 25th Revolution have taken a particular toll on the computers and mobile phones market, according to experts in the IT sector.

Lowering prices would be an effective way to increase sales, experts have said, as well as marketing via e-commerce websites, considering the current “fear of walking on the streets.”

Khalil Hassan Khalil, general chairman of the Computers Division within the Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, stated that sales during the current season were being affected by political unrest. He said, before the outbreak of the revolution, the current sales season saw the highest number of sales due to the influx of Egyptians returning from abroad. However, sales were low in June, which is usually the month during which bids and tenders are made, Khalil said, a reality that businesses have had to deal with since the outbreak of the revolution.

Since 20 June, retail stores have been suffering from an increased rate of recession, Khalil said, since users have been scared to walk the streets in the anticipation of renewed violence, a fact which has contributed greatly to decreases in sales. He stated that sales could increase during the upcoming holiday season if the country were to stabilise.

Khalil said electronic e-commerce sites would be the best way to increase sales, considering that users are afraid to walk the streets.

Computer sales had decreased by upwards of 70% compared to last June, he said, adding that cutting prices could be a solution to help increase sales, qualifying however that the country’s stabilisation “would do most to encourage growth.”

Managing Director for Link Egypt Yahya Tharwat expected the country’s current situation would persist due to the lack of security, and technology would continue to suffer from lower sales.

He cited a widespread lack of security and buying power among consumers as cause for decreases in the sale of luxury items. Consumers today are only purchasing essential goods, he said, a fact which also reflected negatively on the sale of other products in different sectors.

Tharwat said the owners of local technology companies have begun to think about closing their stores within the country and taking their business abroad, which could have a serious negative effect on workers currently employed by such companies.

Talat Amr, chairman of the Scientific Society of Telecom Engineers (SSTE), stated that the popularity of any product or service depended upon the social environment and level of stability seen within the country at any given time. Lack of security seen throughout the country would have a negative effect on all service markets and that after the events of 30 June the rate of recession seen within the technology market has increased significantly, Amr said.

He stated that decreases in the price of some electronics in addition to increased advertising campaigns might help to increase sales and put an end to the recession currently being seen within the sector, saying however that instability has increased during the month of Ramadan, a fact which would have a negative effect on sales in the coming months.

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