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One or two days to the Eid; hope you all have a happy holiday. And now be honest, how many times have you been out shopping for Eid?
There is something I am not quite getting about the retail markets in Saudi. Most of the countries around the world have organized sales seasons. You most probably heard about the US’s Black Friday and such. The concept behind such seasons is strictly simple; as holidays are getting nearer and people wants new stuff to own and to gift, prices are slashed to attract customers and drive sales. Simple, right!
Now when it comes to Saudi, it is a bit strange. Sales are coming on and off all the year long without prior notice. That’s till shopping season really starts which is mainly before Eid Al Fiter. Once started, prices hike almost exponentially!!! (if you want another point of view on the sales and shopping experience in Saudi, Jeddah in particular, you may want to check out this audio blog from That Jeddah Podcast.)
Not only that, there is another tactics usually used by most retailers in the market. Just before Ramadan and during its first days, the flashy signs of ‘sales up to 50%, 60%, 70%, etc’ start to pop up everywhere. Now, if you ever shopped during this period, you will know that it is a mess. You cannot find all the things you want. It’s old merchandise, few pieces, and out of stock sizes! And just few days before Eid, all the new lines of merchandise are offered and prices more than doubled.
The strange thing is that customers are adapting and getting along with these tactics or how can you explain the crowded malls just two days before Eid!!??
So when most countries choose sales seasons based on holidays, retailers around here choose to charge more … and more!