Comicave highlights plans at MEFCC

April 12, 2015 | Khaleej Times

Comicave highlights plans at MEFCC

Dubai: The Middle East Film & Comic Con 2015, or MEFCC 2015, is a great platform for both retailers and local artists to showcase their offerings and talents, Yasmin Al Najjar, general manager of retail and distribution at Comicave, noted.

The three-day event is a nirvana for comic book and film fans in the region and allows retailers to boost their sales.

“Our main business intention is to be the prime source for pop culture related items in the region,” Al Najjar told Khaleej Times during the event, which concluded at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Saturday.

Surrounded by visitors, several of which were cosplaying as their favourite gaming, comic and anime characters, Al Najjar agreed that a majority of the merchandise that Comicave offers is not directly marketed towards children.

“We are not a toy store, though we do offer several items that kids would love to play with. We are a destination for geeks, nerds and serious collectors that are looking for very specific merchandise,” she explained.

Comicave’s flagship store, which opened in Dubai Outlet Mall in November 2014, offers a wide range of comic books, manga, action figures, prints, models, statues, RPG tabletop games and speciality merchandise. The 17,000 sqft destination will also soon house an in-store cafe, Al Najjar revealed.

“We don’t think of ourselves as a store, because we do much more than sell film- and comic-related merchandise. One of our main aims is to educate the customers that comic book characters are more than they appear to be in the superhero films. We invite them to explore the complex back stories that make up these characters; and this is why we invested in such a huge store,” she said.

In addition, Al Najjar also explained that the store regularly held a number of different workshops. “We are working with several local artists, SMEs and students that are interested in this field. We want to let them know that there is a future, a very promising one, for them in this industry and in this region. On the commercial side, encouraging local and regional talent will help our sales.”

Asked if Comicave would be opening any other stores in the region, Al Najjar replied in the negative. “Our goal is not to get into any direct competition with established businesses. We are here to support the culture and so far, the response has been very encouraging. We have almost doubled our sales since the opening of our flagship store in Dubai Outlet Mall and I am sure that this growth in sales will continue in 2015.”

Al Najjar also highlighted the importance of the MEFCC event for Comicave. “This is our first time exhibiting at the event and we are getting a very good idea of what exactly it is that our customers are looking for. Our comics and action figures sections drive our sales, but we are getting a lot of customers that are looking at the other products that we offer.”

Speaking about the future, Al Najjar revealed that Comicave would soon be launching an online store that will offer exclusive merchandise. She said that the store’s major expansion would be in the e-commerce segment, with the online store being available on Comicave’s website. She added that while Comicave was not actively looking into opening another store in the region, the brand had not ruled out future store openings in several malls that have recently been announced in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.