Diplomacy Today Bureau
There is a huge crowd in the Baku shopping festival at Azerbaijan. Shoppers for the fair seem to have been deposited in the capital. As the 15th November is approaching, people want to settle their share. Buyers from Russia, Turkey, Georgia and Iran are also reaching to the capital. During the Baku shopping festival, we talked to the main shopkeepers, businessmen and company representatives there. In his mixed opinion, the government’s tax exemption was welcomed, while there was no excitement at the stationery shops. It may be said that the Baku shopping festival has come to a considerable extent by coming to its second week. This is the time of spring in Azerbaijan. People from the cold northern parts of the country easily reach Baku and want to buy goods of necessity and comfort.
Extra benefits during Shopping Festival- Narmin Salayeva
“We are the biggest company since 1994 in the Caucuses region with an office in Kazakhstan. We represent luxury items in the Azerbaijan. We not only cover the higher income group but also offer services to middle class as well. We are taking part in Baku Shopping Festival second time. It is very important to know that we have lower prices than Turkey and Arab. Tax money you get back is the extra profit. It is very visible the rebate in the price you get at Baku during shopping festival in comparison to Dubai, Doha and Istanbul. A lot of entertainment activities you also enjoy. Level of services is high at Baku stores as well as good selection; great stuff and variety also make difference.” Narmin Salayeva argues, she is the PR Manager of Sintex Company.
“The situation is the win-win for both the buyer and the seller throughout Baku Shopping Festival. During the fete reducing prices up to 30% fetch more shoppers. Profit to manufacturers goes high as they get larger orders.” She said.
Narmin thinks that Baku can become the prime shopping destination as the prices are lower than other popular leg. During the festival you get both tax free and the discounts, which makes profitable for both the buyers and the stores. Baku Shopping Festival can develop the city as a tourist destination also. “Our hotels and the restaurants are also affordable.” She converse.
Manufacturers also get benefitted- Farid Rasulov
“Baku Shopping Festival is helping to manufacturers also. All kind of activities and energy like this (Baku Shopping Festival) help start ups, it gives them the chance to nurture. I have two shops and we get a chance to participate. The event gives chances to shoppers and manufacturers also.” Farid Rasulov said.
He is a young doctor turned artefacts entrepreneur and considered as a Nakhchivan art of school saviour of modern age. Nakhchivan is an state of Azerbaijan towards Turkey border.
“The idea to establish to ‘Chelebi’ brand came in mind in 2013 with digital sketch print. I had an idea to install a ‘Carpet Room’ which you see in the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum. After the feedback of the furnishings for the idea, then I moved for this artwork (Chelebi lifestyle products) that is more towards to people. We are being loved and in the four years journey we have successfully established the brand.” Farid told.
Tanks to Azerbaijan Government for Tax Rebate- Ilkin Qasimov
General Manager of Azerbaijan’s giant electronic and electrical company Maxi.Az Ilkan Qasimov minds that they are proud to be part of Baku Shopping Festival as this is their second time partnership. “We have 11 stores in the country; out of it eight are in Baku. We conduct some activities to sustain the momentum after shopping festival to keep spirits high.” Qasimov utters. “We offer the discounts also but thankfully government gives tax back to end consumers. In facts 10.20% is the effective saving of the buyers in retail market. We have low margins but the high volume maintains the profits. Out of price tag, activities like services also attract the shoppers. We feel there is competition but we found more potential that reflects in the profit.” He said.
“We feel there are only indigenous buyers come for heavy electrical appliances but the striking offers on small gadgets like smart cell phones joggle overseas buyers.
Unfortunately our currency depreciate more than two times in 2015, foreign buyers has more Manats to get cheap gadgets in foreign exchange plus gets tax refunded. I doubt that buyers from Russian, China and India may visit Azerbaijan for electronics as they have own local products. They are potentially good tourists in my opinion. I feel the bank points for tax refund must be increased for public convenience.” Qasimov utters.
Not Encouraging for Youngsters- Gulsum Mammadova
‘Grafika’, a shop owned in an old Mall ‘28 May’ did not find anything encouraging in the shopping festival. Gulsum Mammadova, Shop manager for the shop ‘Grafika’ told the Baku Shopping Festival has twice limitations. One you will have to go for refund on the same day to take benefit from tax free offer.
First you pay to the shopper, than certify your bills with the officials and lately visit the bank to get refund. And you will have to do on the same day to get it. It is too long to get benefitted. Second big obstacle is the capping of minimum billing of 100 Azerbaijani Manat (approx 3800 INR), which every students can not afford. Gulsum Mammadova, Shop Manager of Grafika told.
Grafika is the store for youngsters, toddlers, students and the readers. She probably does not find the festival more encouraging for the young buyers. Grafika was founded in 1988 and has eight stores in the capital.