As customary every February, the festival known as Hala February is launched with much fanfare and media attention with many businesses looking forward to marketing their wares through steep discounts and special offers. Lasting almost through the entire month of February, the festival seemingly attracts not only the local crowds but also visitors from GCC states who come to Kuwait at this time specifically to enjoy shopping and dining and basically having a good time. Besides looking for bargains at shops and malls, festival goers can enjoy attending socio-cultural, athletic, and entertainment events that are prepared ahead of time by festival organizers. Lots of businesses, malls, and shopping centers try through advertising campaigns to lure the public to their merchandize.
Muhammad Ziyad, who works as a manager at a store in Salmiya, told KUNA that sales at his store usually spike by 20-30 percent during the Hala February Festival. Another store manager in Salmiya, Muhannad Halim, indicated that the store he works in often slashes prices by 75 percent to boost sales. Ahmad Murad, a salesman at a jewelry shop, said sales in the shop where he works rise noticeably during the festival, with many shoppers being those from GCC states. Muhammad Shawqi, who works at a store in Hawalli, attributed the frenzy of shopping during the festival to the fact that it takes place at the best time of the year for Kuwait when the weather is mild and pleasant enough for shoppers to step outside and enjoy the outdoors.
A saleslady at a well-known mall in the Rayy area, Jackline Mamaluba, applauded the festival organizers for boosting sales at many stores through the marketing of coupons and giving out daily prizes to shoppers. She thought that the cooperation between festival organizers and local businesses was successful in attracting shoppers to come out and enjoy shopping and attending festival events. The first Hala February was launched in 1999 and has been taking place every year at the same time, with full support of the private sector and some public sector agencies. -KUNA