Max Hard­ware offers credit scheme to loyal cus­tomers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Bianca Mlilo Busi­ness Re­porter

MAX Hard­ware, a Bu­l­awayo hard­ware com­pany has in­tro­duced a credit scheme for its faith­ful cus­tomers as a way of deal­ing with the pre­vail­ing liq­uid­ity crunch. The small to medium en­ter­prises sec­tor is one of the hard­est hit by the cash cri­sis be­cause it op­er­ates largely on a cash ba­sis. The com­pany says through this ini­tia­tive, it seeks to in­tro­duce com­pet­i­tive, vi­able prices for Di­as­pora-based Zim­bab­weans that would be vis­it­ing the coun­try this fes­tive sea­son.

Max Hard­ware co-di­rec­tor Mrs Teresa Sibanda Sit­hole said as a way of re­main­ing afloat in busi­ness, they had re­sorted to in­tro­duc­ing mea­sures that would work for both the cus­tomer and the busi­ness.

“It’s not a myth, ev­ery­body is aware of the econ­omy and cash cri­sis. It is up to us as not only busi­ness peo­ple but Zim­bab­weans to be able to in­tro­duce mea­sures to func­tion. That is why we as an emerg­ing com­pany have in­tro­duced com­pet­i­tive prices and ser­vices to cush­ion our clien­tele and also to re­main afloat in the in­dus­try,” she said. “We are now of­fer­ing a credit fa­cil­ity which is based on the re­la­tion­ship of the cus­tomer and the com­pany. Shel­ter is an im­por­tant char­ac­ter­is­tic and peo­ple need to in­vest in it.

“As stated in the new Zim­bab­wean con­sti­tu­tion, shel­ter is an essen­tial need. Peo­ple need to in­vest in prop­erty and that is why we are of­fer­ing such ser­vices and prod­ucts.”

Mrs Sit­hole said the credit schemes and pay­ment plans were avail­able to cus­tomers they have dealt with since the in­cep­tion of the com­pany. She said they had also re­alised a need to at­tract lo­cals work­ing out­side the coun­try as they were in­volved in many build­ing projects. To this end, she said, they had em­braced so­cial me­dia as a mar­ket­ing tool which was yield­ing fruits for them.

Mrs Sit­hole de­cried the dou­bling up of roles by whole­salers who had also taken up re­tail­ing and were threat­en­ing their sur­vival.

“As SMEs our sur­vival is threat­ened by big­ger play­ers in the in­dus­try such as whole­salers. In­stead of play­ing the role of sup­pli­ers they have now as­sumed the role of be­ing a re­tailer as well,” she said. ‘They sell prod­ucts at cut or rather give away prices that at­tract cus­tomers to them in­stead of re­tail com­pa­nies such as ours. This is one of the ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tors that limit the growth and pros­per­ity of small busi­nesses. We urge the govern­ment or rel­e­vant author­ity to ur­gently look into and ad­dress the mat­ter.”

— @Bian­caMlilo

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