BY SACHIN KUMAR
DOHA: Chinese retailer Dragon Mart set its foot in Qatar by announcing its opening yesterday at Barwa Commercial Avenue near Industrial Area.
The new entrant in Qatar retail market is likely to trigger a price war as it will sell its products at cheaper rates.
At present there are 13 malls operating in Qatar.
The Chinese player will have an edge in pricing because of its strategy of sourcing its products directly from factories in China.
“Relatively, prices of products are going to be less and the quality of products will be superior,” Yang Qi, Marketing and Logistics Manager, Dragon Mart, told this daily.
“Around 90 percent of products sold in our mart will be sourced from factories in China,” he added.
Consumers will get clothes, furniture, electronic goods, glassware, sport equipment and other household items which will be sold by Chinese shop owners.
Known as the manufacturing hub of the world, China is manufacturing products at cheaper rate because of cheap labour and lower production cost.
Another factor that will help Dragon Mart to sell products at competitive rates is low rentals for shops.
An 18sqm shop is available for QR3,600 which is low compared to other malls.
Affordable rentals have attracted people to queue up for shops in Dragon Mart.
All shops on the ground floor are booked while only 20 percent are left for booking on the Mezzanine floor.
Spread across 21,000sqm, the mall houses about 280 shops and stalls.
On the inaugural day, around 20 shops opened their doors for customers. The management plans to open 130 shops on the ground floor in the first phase.
“We plan to open one shop every day because we want gradual opening. All shops on the ground floor will be open in next one month,” said Yang.
Dragon Mart is among the top five malls in Qatar in terms of size but it is far smaller than its counterpart in Dubai.
It is just one-seventh of the Dragon Mart in Dubai which is spread over 150,000sqm.
Along with retail customers, Dragon Mart will also have wholesale shops catering to the needs of customers who are likely to place bulk orders.
“There are many malls for retail customers in Qatar but no mall for wholesale customers. Dragon Mart is the first mall which will meet demand of wholesale customers,” said Yang.
According to the official, customers will not have to face any problem about parking as it has ample space for customer parking.
The mart was expected to open in August last year but the plans got delayed due to procedural issues.
Originally scheduled to open on July 2012, the Dragon Mart was forced to put off its plans as it faced huge delay in getting electricity connection.
The management is expecting Dragon Mart to attract huge crowd in coming days.
It is expecting crowds from Abu Hamour, Industrial Area and other nearby areas.
“We do not consider other malls our competitors because we are catering to retail and wholesale customers. Other malls are catering to retail customers,” said Yang. Work in other shops, which are about to open in coming days, is going on full swing with staff giving finishing touches.
The success of Dragon Mart in Dubai encouraged the management to open a branch in Qatar — the second mart in the GCC region.The Peninsula