Major hypermarkets and stores in Qatar witnessed “record sales” in laptops, as well as other accessories needed by employees and students during the ‘work and study from home’ protocols initiated by the government to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
Retailers in Doha noted that the rush for laptops, tablets, and accessories like webcams and printer-scanners was felt from the second week of March prompting them to order more units from different suppliers.Last updated: April 05 2020 09:57 PM
“After schools and universities were shut down, many institutions started conducting online classes. Similarly, companies and government agencies operated on a work from home format. This is why demand was very high for laptops since March,” LuLu regional regional manager Shanavas P M told Gulf Times Sunday.
“Some of the brands were exhausted but we are arranging the procurement of more stocks, which will be available soon. We will make sure the availability not only of the laptops but also accessories like webcams and printer-scanners, which are also in demand,” he said, adding that LuLu is now in touch with its China offices for new supplies.
The strong demand for laptops is happening across the market, said Shanavas, adding that the closure of mall retailers factored in driving more sales in LuLu hypermarkets and in other stores.
A sales representative from another hypermarket said stocks for laptops “are running quite low.” “This was an unexpected surge in demand, but our branches are working to get more units to cater to our customers’ needs,” she said.
Similarly, a merchandiser of another major store noted that fewer stocks are now left for top laptop brands, such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo, among others; and most of the remaining units are from lesser known brands, she said.
“Before the pandemic, around 600 units are sold per week across all types of laptop brands. But since last month, laptop sales jumped threefold to 1,800 units per week,” she explained.
According to Shanavas, LuLu also recorded increased activity in their online platform. “Many people have been purchasing laptops from our online portal, which is both convenient and safe for them during this period,” he pointed out.
Last month, the Government Communications Office announced the “suspension of public and private schools and universities (from March 10) for all students until further notice as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Covid-19, and to ensure the safety of students in all government and private educational institutions.”
Also, the Cabinet decided to reduce the number of employees of government and private sector agencies working in offices to 20% of the total workforce, allowing the remaining 80% to work remotely from home.