Africa’s top clothing retailer Mr Price opens online store

A leading clothing retailer Mr Price has started an online store to boost sales as well as serve target customers who have become ‘incredibly tech-savvy.’

The company launched its website in South Africa, which will make over 18,000 clothing items available online to its target market, despite indications that South Africa’s retail market growth has sharply slowed.

“E-commerce is going to take off in South Africa, and like everything else South Africa will follow in the footsteps of more developed markets,” Donovan Baney, e-commerce executive for Mr Price, said.

Mr Price had earlier carried out a research that found e-commerce sales in the country made up less than 0.5 percent of the total retail sales. The launch of the online store, according to the retailer, is therefore aimed at strengthening its relationships with its target customers.

“Just from our first day of trading, we’ve got 30 percent of our orders being delivered to a store,” Baney said.

He added that with increased broadband connectivity in South Africa, the low figure of online sales is set to rise in years to come, as e-commerce growth in the country is growing by 30 to 35 percent.

Customers will be able to pay for goods purchased on the site using credit cards, cheque cards, cash-on-delivery with store collections, electronic fund transfers, gift vouchers and Mr Price accounts. A fixed charge of R35 (US$5) will be charged for delivery to any location in the country.

Customers can also purchase e-vouchers and send them on electronically via email or SMS.

“The whole process is underpinned by industry-leading security. We will be the first South African retailer to be partnering with CyberSource‚ a payment gateway and fraud mitigation service provider that counts many of the world’s top online retailers as its customers‚ including Apple’s iTunes store‚” said Mr Price’s chief executive Stuart Bird.

Currently, Mr Price, also listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), has stores in different African countries namely Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi.

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