LG CEO Shadi Ramzi al Majali

LG: Plugging into Demand

Jordan’s electrical appliances market has grown rapidly over recent years, as the cost of products like widescreen TVs and washing machines dropped and their availability increased. New Vision, the distributor of LG products in the Kingdom, has helped develop this market since it was established in 2010.

Here, the company’s CEO Shadi Ramzi al Majali explains how he plans to keep ahead of the competition in light of a slowdown in demand.

How are your sales faring at the moment?

Last year was moderate in comparison with 2015. Things started to slow down, especially due to the instability and uncertainty in the region. The remittances that Jordanians send from the Gulf have declined. If it’s not an essential item, then people would prefer to hold on to the cash or delay its purchase because Jordanian workers don’t know if they will remain in the Gulf or not. People are also scared of some of the government’s decisions, and the cost of living is changing. They don’t know what they can afford so they try to postpone decisions on buying goods.

Do you think this will continue throughout this year?

Absolutely. I believe this is not going to be an easy year. I am positive that it might be stabilized but there’s a catch, it depends on what happens in the region. It also depends on what happens in Saudi Arabia, which is our backup. If things continue as is there then it might be very negative. Another major issue is that the suppliers created a new culture in the Jordanian market that made Jordanians accustomed to promotions. Ten years ago this wasn’t the case. So people delay their purchases until there are promotions. And we go with the market. We try to give customers better deals.

You currently have two assembly lines for LG, mainly washing machines, are you planning to start assembling other items? What are some of your future plans?

Yes we are planning to look into other things like refrigerators and maybe ACs, which could be a heavy investment.

We are acquiring the Chinese Midea brand. But our bread and butter remains LG. We are also investing in our own brand called V-Tech, which we have started to launch slowly into the market. We also started a plan around a year ago to expand our showrooms. We opened our biggest showroom in 2015, and in 2016 we opened four major showrooms. This year we opened one and we are planning to open three more. It helps us stabilize our cash flow and our market.