Fashion sense: Clothing firms change tack in fading market

Fashion sense: Clothing firms change tack in fading market

The current turbulence in the local retail space and the Covid-19 pandemic have greatly impacted their businesses. Fashion has not been spared from the retail turbulence witnessed in the country in the last few years.

Local brands such as Deacons and K-Shoes have gone bust, while once-promising ones like Jade Collections are barely keeping their heads above water.

This has forced players to rethink their business models in a market dominated by mitumbas (second-hand clothes) amid consumers’ waning purchasing power. READ MORE

Last year, a study on Kenya’s fashion Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) ecosystem described it as “messy and poorly informed” and tough to understand.

“The Kenyan fashion market (men’s and women’s wear) has been described as complex and somewhat complicated and hard to figure out and satisfy,” said the Fashion DNA Needs Analysis study commissioned by the British Council.

Perhaps this complexity explains Mavazi Lifestyle Clothing, once present in most Tuskys outlets .

Curiously, even with the retailer’s troubles, the fashion offshoot has managed to break away and seems to be expanding while other fashion retailers suffer.

From less than six branches early this year, it has grown to 16 stores, comprising supplier stocks from the aggregator partners and shareholders capital.

Mavazi Clothing Operations Manager Florence Mukuha said the firm is pursuing partnerships alongside an aggregator business model to sustain the firm’s growth. It has a variety of more than 5,000 store keeping units (SKUs) and aims to have stand-alone outlets in all major towns across the country.

“Before, we used to target malls, but we’ve seen that malls aren’t doing well so we want to target stand-alone stores, which perform better,” said Ms Mukuha. Mavazi Lifestyle Clothing store in Nakuru. [Courtesy] Mavazi Clothing has maintained a collection of suppliers, providing quality items and merchandise with an aggregator business model that also seeks to create a tight-knit supplier channel.

Suppliers are informed on every little thing going on in the retailer. The retailer also constantly reviews stock, pricing and branch performance to eliminate non-performing merchandise and also keeps abreast with fashion trends.Unlike in the traditional retail model, aggregator suppliers provide sales items on a consignment basis, with the products remaining in the control of the suppliers and payments whose terms are dictated by the suppliers settled promptly.The aggregator business model is touted by global e-commerce players offers as a win-win platform for SMEs wishing to grow their business value by partnering with an established aggregator. An […]

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