Economy

Woodin to launch e-commerce platform

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Tex Styles Ghana Limited -manufacturers of Woodin,GTP and Vlisco fabrics is expected to launch its retail online platform sometime middle of December, the Sales Director at Texstyles Ghana, Emmanuel Debrah Kissi has said.

The company said the expansion would enable it to capitalise on growth without considerable upfront costs.

“By mid-December, we are launching our e-commerce platform – we are going to do a lot of online sales, so that is what we plan, we have an agency that we have employed which is in charge of our online platform. When we launch the e-commerce platform, almost every design will go online for people to be able to purchase and [we believe it will boost sales to revive and sustain production], Mr Debrah Kissi told Business 24 in an interview on a side of a media tour to the factory at Tema in the Greater Accra region last Thursday.

According to him, under this e-commerce initiative, they are focused on turbo-charging their online business both in Ghana and internationally and also see a real opportunity in extending the number of countries where they can run an online channel.

Benefit

For Mr. Debrah Kissi, the benefits of introducing and expanding  their online presence is enormous, “You can sit at the comfort of your home, to be able to choose any design that we have, different colour, we are collaborating with DHL and Ghana Post to be able to deliver it straight to your address or wherever you are located, we expect this should be able to help, you don’t have to drive all the way through traffic just to go and buy a six piece yard of Nustyle or any GTP product.

Sustainability

Tex Styles Ghana intends to build on this initiative once they start rolling it out, as they have already set up a customer service team to handle it.

“Currently what we have done is before the launch of the e-commerce platform, is that we have an online whatsapp shop, that we take orders from and we give them to our partner shops based on where you are located across the country, so basically this is what we do now.”

Challenges

Last year and this year, Tex Styles Ghana posted some losses which has affected their sales and their margins reduced as well, owing to flagging economic situation in the country and coronavirus respectively.

“The exchange rate is one of the major challenges we are having as a country, because most of the things we buy are in USD and Euros, so buying it and selling in Ghana Cedis, after that you have to change it back, so the depreciation has really hit us, which is why we are resorting to increasing the price but unfortunately, we are not able to increase at the rate the cedi is depreciating as well the inflation, our margins are reducing.

This year has really been a difficult year, we have actually effected about 25percent averagely to try and close the gap that we have and then with the piracy once we have our own designs coming from China, same designs but at 30percent cheaper and 20percent in terms of higher margins ,customers go for that and it hits us, so our rate of sales is reducing in the trade which is affecting us, same period we had already done about 17m yards but currently we have done about 15m yards and the December is not really looking good, we are not really seeing the euphoria around, so sales is not really going to be as the past years especially as we have increased prices by 25 percent, so it is going to really impact it, as in terms of volumes.”

On how the company can overcome some of its challenges, the Sales Director explained that government can help the company regarding the Residual Fuel Oil (RFO), which has been withdrawn and is having a toll on their production.

“Beginning of the year, we were enjoying 55percent subsidy , around July 15percent was withdrawn so we were enjoying at least 40percent, effective 1st November the entire 40percent is gone and so our utility cost is gone up by that margin and we are paying full 100 percent price for the cost of RFO and is actually even a challenge getting it because currently what is available will just last up till end of December, if we don’t get any BDC bringing some stock in the country, this year we have had to shut down about twice or thrice based on the unavailability of RFO, first we need it available and if government can subsidise, maybe we might not get the 55percent , even if its 20percent it will help us, so we can reduce our cost of production.”

Targets

The company has a target of 21m yards but are unable to meet it due to challenges “This year we were supposed to do about 21m yards overall [GTP alone we were supposed to do about 17m yards, but as we speak, we have done about 15m so we expecting about 20 – 25percent gap for the end of year. Next year, with the way things are going, if we can do anything it will be around 13 – 14m.” he added.

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