Favourite superhero's merchandise

Pop culture icons at Comic Con

GMT 09:36 2015 Saturday ,11 April

Arab Today, arab today Pop culture icons at Comic Con

Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC)
Dubai - Arab Today

Consumers looking for their favourite superhero's merchandise have gathered at the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC), which kicked off on Thursday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The three-day convention showcased comic books, games, action figures, statues and merchandise featuring pop culture icons like Superman and Darth Vader.

Retailers in the UAE expect the show to help boost their annual sales.

"We expect a doubling of sales [in 2015],” said Yasmin Al Najjar, general manager for retail and distribution at Dubai-based retailer, Comicave. She, however, did not say how much.

Comic books are the retailer's top-selling products, followed by statues, action figures, apparel and merchandise. It sells more than 5,000 comic book titles at its Dubai Outlet Mall store, which opened last November. In the last few weeks, it has been selling Arabic comic books. Prices start from Dh15.

Similarly, Index Wipvasutti, assistant manager-head of comic merchandise at bookstore Kinokuniya, said that he expects sales of comic books to grow by around 30 per cent this month compared with March.

Ashraf Raza, managing director of Comic Central Dubai, which sells comics, manga and graphic novels, said that he is looking to generate Dh20,000 in sales at Comic Con and double last month's sales.

"There's a growing demand for comic books. There have always been comic books [in the UAE] but only in select stores and in limited quantities. In the past five years, they have been far more accessible, yet there are hardly standalone comic book stores,” Al Najjar said.

Raza, too, said that awareness of comic books is growing in the country, but it is "still not there on the scale that it is in Europe or the US.”

Wipvasutti said there up to six retailers selling comic books in the UAE.

He said that the market for comic books is "fresh” and there is space for more players.

Higher demand for comic books in the UAE and the region has led some retailers to enter the e-commerce space. Comicave is launching a site in two months' time, while Comic Central Dubai expects to do the same in a about a month.

Alongside comic books, action figures and T-shirts were popular items at the show.

"We got T-shirts about a year and a half ago and we are getting them sold all the time. We will probably double our T-shirt sales this year. We are bringing in another couple of suppliers of T-shirts so that will help,” said Munro Gow, store manager at Dubai-based Hollywood Collections.

He said that the retailer sold 3,000 T-shirts at Comic Con last year.

He expects his company to make up to Dh11 million in sales this year, marking a 20-30 per cent increase over 2014. Demand for products based on popular films is likely to help boost its sales.

"Right now, people are looking for the upcoming Avengers products and Star Wars that is coming up at the end of the year,” Gow said.
Source: Gulf News

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