Market News

Uhuru Market clothes makers take trade online

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A trader at Uhuru Market. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The platform, which was developed with assistance from creative industry funder Heva Fund, provides a nationwide market for newly made clothes as opposed to the traditional walk-in walk-out clients.
  • Speaking at the end of a weeklong back-to-school uniforms sale, Uhuru Market trader Leonard Kamau said they will leverage on the platform to sell back-to-school products that will be delivered to buyers via courier.

Customers can now shop for locally made school, industrial and official uniforms online, thanks to a newly launched e-commerce platform for Nairobi’s Uhuru Market traders.

The platform, which was developed with assistance from creative industry funder Heva Fund, provides a nationwide market for newly made clothes as opposed to the traditional walk-in walk-out clients.

Speaking at the end of a weeklong back-to-school uniforms sale, Uhuru Market trader Leonard Kamau said they will leverage on the platform to sell back-to-school products that will be delivered to buyers via courier.

“Improving our customer service through the e-commerce site is part of our plan to increase convenience and reach a broader market,” he said.

The platform will also stock school worker uniforms, reusable masks and bags.

Uhuru market traders who usually experience long queues during back-to-school seasons said this year they have been forced by Covid protocols to adopt e-commerce to service orders from customers.

Items bought online are delivered at a fee by riders within the same day in Nairobi while upcountry purchases are delivered by delivery partners within two days.

Use of e-commerce platforms has grown exponentially in the past 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Kenyans shunning crowded public places in favour of buying retail, grocery, drugs, electronic and ready-to-eat foodstuffs online.

The demand has in turn precipitated growth of delivery companies with motorcycle and truck companies reporting heightened sales.

Mr Kamau said the portal has also helped more than 1,000 traders to formalise their businesses and improve their savings now that money paid for purchases is directly banked in business accounts, as opposed to cash-based transactions that encourage many to spend without saving.

This, he said, is giving traders a chance to build their financial profile that they could use in future to seek credit to expand their businesses.