Dea­cons tar­gets rich on­line buy­ers with new por­tal

Clothes re­tailer is eye­ing tech-savvy young cus­tomers

Business Daily (Kenya) - - CORPORATE NEWS -

Cloth­ing and life­style goods re­tailer Dea­cons East Africa is set to open an on­line por­tal to tap tech-savvy cus­tomers with an eye on boost­ing flat­ten­ing sales and cut­ting op­er­at­ing costs.the Nse-listed firm plans to start tak­ing or­ders on­line and de­liv­er­ing them to cus­tomers’ doorsteps in the first quar­ter of next year.

The loss-mak­ing re­tailer yes­ter­day said the e-com­merce plat­form, be­ing de­vel­oped at a cost of be­tween Sh10.32 mil­lion and Sh15.48 mil­lion ($100,000-$150,000), will cut op­er­at­ing ex­penses by about 20 per cent.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Muchiri Wa­home said the firm is draw­ing on les­sons from on­line shop-

Firm plans to start tak­ing or­ders on­line and de­liv­er­ing them at cus­tomers’ doorsteps

Dea­cons chair­man Peter Gi­chohi Njoka (left) with chief ex­ec­u­tive o icer Muchiri Wa­home.

ping plat­form, Ju­mia, where its brands are dig­i­tally mar­keted, in de­sign­ing its own plat­form.

Mr Wa­home was, how­ever, quick to add it may take more than two years for the sys­tem, largely tar­get­ing af­flu­ent young clien­tele, to start driv­ing sales.

“E-com­merce has to be con­ve­nient, easy to use and that’s what we are build­ing. It is just to make sure there’s easy ac­cess, quick trans­ac­tion ca­pa­bil­ity and there’s quick de­liv­ery,” he said. “We are presently on Ju­mia where we are learn­ing in­ter­est­ing les­sons. It is go­ing to take time. I don’t ex­pect that in 24 months, on­line sales will sur­pass 10 per cent but the op­por­tu­nity there­after is enor­mous.”

The Nairobi Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change (NSE) traded firm is strug­gling to grow sales in the up­mar­ket shop­ping malls, which house 98 per cent of its stores, due to fall­ing cus­tomer traf­fic at­trib­uted to non-per­for­mance of ma­jor su­per­mar­ket an­chor ten­ants.

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