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Extra eyes growing Saudi CE spend

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 23 March 2009

Saudi Arabian retail chain Extra hopes to take advantage of the Kingdom’s growing electronics market in 2009. Extra reckons that the Saudi electronics market was worth US$5.6 billion in 2008 with this figure expected to grow 3.3% in 2009. The average annual expenditure on electronics products by each Saudi family is in excess of US$1,000 according to Extra.

Extra, which is part of the United Electronics Company (UEC) has been expanding its national network of stores across Saudi Arabia to tap into the growing market. . The new store was inaugurated by Zerab Al Qahtani, deputy governor of the Eastern Region with Abdullah Al Fozan, chairman of the board at UEC also in attendance.

Al Fozan said: "Extra is launching its first store in Dammam, the eleventh Kingdomwide, in five years. Extra’s share is growing in the Saudi electronics retail market, which is valued at US$6 billion and expected to grow 3.3% in 2009 due to the high demand for electronics and US$106 billion development plans initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.”

Mohammad Jalal, CEO at UEC, commented: "Saudi family annual average expenditure on electronics varies from city to city. It is around US$1,300 in Riyadh, US$930 in Jeddah and US$800 in Dammam. The rates are expected to grow."

Jalal reckons that growing internet penetration in Saudi Arabia is helping to fuel demand for both IT and consumer electronics products. He added: "Saudi Arabia needs to build 4.5 million residential units over the next 20 years. This would lead to an increasing demand for household appliances and plasma flat [screens], which are growing by more than 40% annually.”

“Portable computers and mobile phones form more than 50% of the total consumer electronics industry. The new trends in the global market and the revolution in digital communications have increased competition among manufacturers, especially with the entry of new brands, which increased promotions and offers,” Jalal continued.

UEC opened its first Extra big box retail outlet in Saudi Arabia in 2003 to provide a complete shopping experience for consumer electronics and home appliances. Extra offers a wide range of quality branded products including TVs, audio, computers, mobile phones and IT communications, cameras, home appliances and personal care products along with their accessories. Extra plans to have a network of 15 stores across the Kingdom by the end of 2009.

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