The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), in partnership with Proudly South African (Proudly SA) will launch an online furniture portal via a webinar on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 at 10:00.
The online furniture portal will provide a platform to showcase locally manufactured furniture and showcase what the South African furniture manufacturing sector has to offer.
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition , Ms Nomalungelo Gina explains that the online furniture portal will serve as an access-to-market platform for small and large skilled manufacturers, and it will also be a resource where buyers can engage with these businesses.
“It is evident that selling and shopping online has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and has now changed consumer behaviour into adopting online shopping as their preferred method of shopping.
“The advancements we saw in 2020 are only going to continue post-pandemic. The changes are not a way to simply make it through, they are permanent and redefining what a meaningful retail experience could look like,” she says.
Gina adds that the benefits of the online furniture portal will allow shoppers to peruse products and make buying decisions at any time, day or night.
“This will make shopping easier for customers, and that kind of accessibility will be a huge competitive advantage. Many e-commerce websites extend businesses to people all over the country or around the world, vastly expanding their customer base and potential revenue.
“Selling online also offers the ability to broaden or increase catalogue – the number of items a business can sell online doesn’t need to be limited in the same way as a physical store, which might be a consideration to increase cash flow,” says Gina.
The Chief Executive Officer of Proudly South African, Mr Eustace Mashimbye says that the success of the portal that was introduced in 2020 primarily in response to COVID-19 requirements of masks and other PPE, showed how important having one central database of suppliers can be, and how it can make buying local so much easier.
“The value of the furniture industry in South Africa is enormous, and we want to tap into the procurement of furniture especially by corporate South Africa, and this portal will be a place to which we can drive demand,” he says.
To register for the webinar go to: