With the aim to raise sales revenue, one of the biggest online retailers in the Middle East, Dubai’s Souq.com is trying to attract shoppers as it plans on a shopping discount festival on the lines of "Black Friday" in the US.
So called because retailers get to the point where they either show profits or go into the black, the Friday subsequent to Thanksgiving or "Black Friday" marks America’s biggest shopping event of the year.
The Dubai-version called White Weekend is scheduled for November 27-28, prior to the famous Dubai Shopping Festival.
Souq.com’s chief executive Ronaldo Mouchawar, expects it to activate a trend.
"Our market share is developing. Already 52% of online shoppers in the UAE are using Souq.com’s website. Keeping that share, while growing that pie, is really our goal," he said, answering reporters yesterday.
The company revealed that it was offering select deals in collaboration with 20 top brands, which is expected to bring in 10 million visitors to its mobile apps and websites, and sell about a quarter of a million items.
Web usage in the region is increasing by around 40% per annum, while the online spends of Middle East and North Africa is around $12bn for 2014 and estimated to touch $15bn the next year.
Souq.com claimed that its website attracted 10 million unique visitors out of a total of over 30 million, each month.
In an interview with Reuters, Souq.com group chief executive, Asif Keshodia, said: "For the next two to three years, we’re aiming for a high double-digit top-line growth and not looking for profit, which will come at the right timing, along with (an) IPO."
Owning e-commerce businesses like Cashu and Cobone, the Souq.com group of companies generated $150mn, with the help of Naspers of South Africa, which supplied half of that amount earlier this year, in order to fund its expansion.
Late 2009, Yahoo Inc. was sold an Arabic website called Maktoob by Souq.com for around $175m.