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Wearable technology yet to pick up in the Mena region

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DISTREE Middle East’s report reveals a major setback for the industry

April 29, 2014 5:29 by

More than 40 per cent of technology and electronic retailers in the Mena region does not stock any form of wearable technology, according to a report by DISTREE Middle East that was released on April 24 (Thursday).

The survey, which was conducted in early April and canvassed 57 senior executives of top Mena electronic retailers, also highlights a number of sub categories in wearable technology to get a more comprehensive view of the current situation, such as audio-related wearables, smartwatches and fitness- and health-related wearables.

Of the overall percentage of stocked wearable technology, the survey concludes only 67 per cent of involved stores was stocking smartwatches, 54 per cent was stocking audio-related wearables and 50 per cent was stocking fitness- and health-related wearables. Although they may not be stocking up on supplies just yet, retailers do acknowledge the growing demand for this category.

Liam McSherry, marketing director at DISTREE Events, says: “Of the retailers and e-tailers not stocking wearables, two thirds indicate that they want to immediately add products in this category, with the remaining third saying that they hoped to expand their portfolio to include wearables within the next 12 months.”

According to the report, many believe that, in Middle Eastern markets, wearable technology is a “fast-growing and high-margin product category for 2014 and beyond”.

The survey also reveals that 78 per cent of all interviewed retailers was interested in adding new smartwatch brands to their existing product pools and 58 per cent was looking to expand their existing collection of fitness- and health-related wearables.

McSherry concludes: “The awareness of wearables remains severely limited in the Middle East retail channel. With the exception of Pebble in the smartwatch category and Fitbit in fitness devices – both of which achieved 40 per cent brand recognition among retailers – other wearables brands are just not widely known in the Mena retail channel.”


Published first on AMEinfo.

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