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One-stop shop for all entertainment needs

(Virgin Megastore) / 9 May 2012

Virgin Megastore is exploring new markets, redesigning stores, introducing loyalty programmes and investing in innovative solutions to further enhance the customer’s shopping experience

Virgin Megastore is a global leader in entertainment and lifestyle retail and the number one entertainment destination in the Middle East. It is a one-stop shop for all entertainment needs with a distribution arm called Daxar. Daxar supports and distributes independent music and films in the region.

Virgin Megastore specialises in exclusive high-end, lifestyle products.  The megastore is a retailer of music, video, books, gaming, licensed merchandise, apple products and accessories, multimedia solutions, fashion and lifestyle accessories, as well as a range of services and events ticketing.

“We cater to prosumers that value a great customer experience and exceptional quality products,” Ahab M. Shamaa, Regional Multimedia Product Manager, Virgin Megastore MENA, said in an interview with Khaleej Times.

Virgin Megastore’s bestselling and mostly exclusive iconic brands include Mophie, Native Union, Apple, ION, and Playstation.  “The success of these product lines is mainly derived from the products themselves being superior.  These products are also successful in Virgin Megastore because of the great customer experience and the wealth of information offered to consumers,” Shamaa explained.

He said that 2011 was a record year for Virgin Megastore in terms of sales and profitability in the UAE.  “We expect the growth trend to continue in the UAE market in the foreseeable future as new developments are completed, the population continues to grow and the release of new and exciting products and product lines,” he said.

Shamaa said that Virgin Megastore has an exciting line up of new product launches for this year. “Soon to hit our stores will be the sought after new iPad, the new Dr Dre headphones, exclusive products offered by LaCie, as well as much more which our customers can look forward to,” he said.

He revealed that Virgin Megastore would continue to expand its presence by exploring new markets, introducing a loyalty programme solution and e-commerce. 

“We also aim to redesign some of our stores to derive an even more exciting and fulfilling customer experience for our patrons. We would also like to introduce interactive product directories and mobile payment for greater customer satisfaction,” he added.

Shamaa said that several factors contribute to Virgin Megastore being a great success story.  “We have helpful, knowledgeable staff who take excellent customer experience to new heights.  We have great locations and beautifully laid out stores that are clean, inviting and entertaining. We have a variety of exclusive and exciting products that cannot be found anywhere else in the market,” he detailed the credits for the success.

Asked if Dubai market is keeping pace with the technological advancements taking place internationally, Shamaa said, “We believe that the Dubai technology market is a mature market that is keeping pace with the international markets and at times even outpacing some of them.

“At Virgin Megastore, our buyers attend all international technology trade shows around the world and constantly scan the technology scene to spot any potential new comers. Virgin Megastore has a very strong relationship with its suppliers, which helps it stay abreast of any new technologies that are coming out.  Virgin Megastore also conducts regular training on new technologies and products so that its sales force can field any questions from its customers,” Shamaa elaborated.

About the challenges faced by the consumer electronics and home appliances sector, Shamaa said that parallel and fake products present a great challenge to CE retailers.  Also, with the fast pace of technology, the relatively short shelf life of a product becomes a challenge in the CE marketplace.  Lastly, over-saturation of similar products from different brands causes confusion to customers, he explained.

Shamaa pointed out four factors that can further stimulate the market. They are: retailers engaging more with the customers, retailers organising workshops surrounding new products and technologies, more promotions and incentives for the customers, and curbing parallel and fake goods in the market.


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