Closet49 seeks to be Africa’s eBay for fashion

Closet49, a new online fashion marketplace launched last month, is seeking to enable the swapping and selling of clothes online.

Founded by Irene Abagi and Serah Kanyua, Closet49 is intended to create a directory for fashion traders.

Kanyua told HumanIPO that Closet49 Ltd was founded given the lack of diversity of affordable clothing.

The site is targeting the middle to upper class market and looking to increase online reach for the traders as well as take brands further online and build a platform customers could trust to interact with up-and-coming designers and traders.

The firm plans to make money on sales commission, which it says is an untapped market and very new and exciting in the East African Region.

“We are creating a catalogue of products from upcoming designers and traders for consumers to easily click and do online shopping,” Kanyua said. “They make an order online and send money to us via M-Pesa, we send the order to the trader via e-mail or text, and once the order is ready we organise pickup and delivery to the customer according to delivery options made by the customer,” she said.

Kanyua adds that they release the money to the trader, less their commission, once the customer has received and is satisfied with the product.

“We work hard to select quality traders and to promote their products widely,” she said.

Closet49 aims to focus solely on fashion items, selecting traders and designers offering stylish, trendy and unique items at affordable prices.

The firm also promises to ensure an enjoyable and interactive online shopping experience for its consumers, in addition to providing a platform an online buyer can trust while interacting with new designers and traders.

Currently, Closet49 sells and delivers to clients in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret. It is looking at expanding countrywide and then across the continent in the future.

Online retail is gradually catching on in Africa, with the likes of new online fashion website Zando,launched in February and now backed by J.P Morgan, giving fashion lovers in South Africa an entirely new shopping experience.

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