As the January wave of back-to-school spending ramps up, it's time for consumers to join retailers in turning the page on South Africa's economic malaise by shifting focus to locally made stationery and school-wear, says Proudly South African Chief Marketing Officer, Happy MaKhumalo Ngidi.
"Job losses and pandemic-induced economic shocks have placed enormous financial strain on businesses and households over the past two years. But the silver lining is that ongoing supply chain disruptions and rising shipping costs have forced top retailers to accelerate the move to local procurement to maintain their competitive advantage. This in turn has exposed buyers to a wide range of high quality, great value local alternatives available at bargain prices, helping families stretch their hard-earned rands a little further," she notes.
"As shoppers, it's time to do our part"
For example, The Foschini Group (TFG) now sources 72% of its clothing apparel locally, and further plans to invest another R575 million towards expanding its South African manufacturing capacity with the aim of producing 30 million local garments a year within the next four years.
As TFG is the new home of value chain Jet, this represents a convenient option for price-conscious parents seeking deals on generic school uniform items such as grey shorts, white shirts, school jerseys and socks.
Likewise, some 35% of clothing chain Mr Price's merchandise is sourced locally, up from 31% in 2015. With its wide range of Proudly South African back-to-school apparel and backpacks, this means another competitive locally manufactured choice for value-focused families.
"But as shoppers, it's now time to do our part by showing our support for South African products and directing our money towards local businesses and local jobs in order to invest in a better future for our country. This begins with something as simple as back-to-school shopping, which is the perfect time to set the example for our children by showing our national pride and responsibility to job creation and to sustaining jobs," she emphasises.
"As Proudly South African, we are therefore calling on all South African consumers to make buying local your New Year's resolution, and join together to turn the tide on unemployment."
Submitted to Parent24 by Proudly South African.
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