Posted on July 28, 2017

The economic blockade imposed by a Saudi-led bloc has failed to have its desired effect on sport shops in Qatar as many residents continue to spend more on equipment, apparel and shoes to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, it is learnt.

Speaking to Gulf Times, an employee at a leading sport chain in the region cited a steady demand for various items up to this month, considered as an off-peak period. He noted that that they also managed to consistently meet their monthly sales targets, which usually slows down during the summer season. “The crisis in the region is not affecting us because residents here, both regular and new customers, patronise our brands,” he added. “They either buy new items or upgrade what they currently use.” He expressed confidence that footfall at their shop is expected to surge next month when delivery of new collections and items arrive from other countries.

The sport chain offers an array of branded items both for indoor and outdoor such as shoes, apparel and jerseys, treadmill, cross trainers, different types of bicycles, bags, skateboards (extreme sports), and accessories, among others. The blockade also failed to stop the company from expanding its operations, opening new branches at different locations across Qatar. “Just recently, one person ordered nearly QR400,000 worth of training (jogging pants, shoes and other apparel),” the employee said, adding that they also did not expect the demand for bicycles to rise slightly after the onset of summer. He pointed out that they normally receive fewer customers during this period but have been surprised to see more buyers of bicycles and sport accessories during this season.

An employee at another popular sport goods outlet also shared the same view saying they have been receiving a steady flow of shoppers daily, further boosting their sales despite the blockade. He attributed the robust spending of residents to the sport events and activities organised by various entities in Qatar, including those in the Summer Entertainment City this year at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. The City is the centrepiece of Qatar Summer Festival 2017 and a family-favourite, featuring 87 games across 11 categories, in addition to several entertainment shows and sports activities such as the three-on-three basketball competition on a half court.

It is organised by Qatar Tourism Authority and QSports. “The activities at the City motivate young people, as well as adults, to continue their endeavour such as skateboarding and BMX and we benefit from that,” the employee said. “People also take advantage of the sales promotions and special discounts offered by many sport shops in the summer,” he added.

source: Gulf Times

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