I listened to a few sentences on Cape Talk Radio late this afternoon. The discussion was about a tourist who was unimpressed to find a peak cap at a tourist destination in South Africa with a ‘made in China’ label inside.
One opinion was that we should at least try to have ‘made in South Africa’ items in our tourist offices… and it was added that tourists would not mind paying extra for a locally produced product.
I disagree with all the above.
Tourists should have appreciation for the creative input when a purchase is made. South Africans do not have the luxury of government subsidies taking a product through all the processes to get a final item into the market place at an affordable price.
Very few tourists I have come across are prepared to pay more for a ‘locally made’ product. They question the price from an uninformed background that stores the believe that ‘labour is cheap in Africa’ and therefore products should be better priced.
Some have even remark in disbelieve that they can get similar items cheaper in London, so why buy it here?
It is seldom that a tourist makes a sympathy buy or is prepared to purchase a local item with the view to support and boost local economy.
Tourists are lovely to have in store, but they are not there to make your business work, they are there because you may have something they want at a price they are prepared to pay.
If you buy a T-shirt in Washington, do you put it back on the shelf if the label does not say ‘made in the USA’?
Why should South Africa be so different?
Our fabric is so expensive, out labour output makes production expensive - which results in a high wholesale and retail price.
The credit should also go to the creative input South Africans give and not just to the production side. A well made and impeccable finished off product needs praise, but that does not conclude the sale.
We are proud to carry the ‘made in South Africa’ label… but how many businesses in this country can really afford it?
* Selling merchandise you love and have an interest in - probably one of the best energizers one could ask for.
* The satisfaction of a returning customer… and the continuous effort to purchase merchandise with their needs/likes in mind.
* Meeting new people and building up a trusting relationship.
* The rush of holiday sales figures… let’s stay positive and focused now!
* The ‘bargain basket’ to make space for new and fresh looks
* Unpacking new stock and displaying it with flair
* Cash sales!
During periods where retail worldwide seem to be in pain, we need to remind one another how to make this list longer, instead of adding to the downside list… that’s the easy way out!
Dressing like everyone around you allows you to blend in, but at what cost?
Blending in is the safe option… dress for the job you want, not the one you have… blend and blend some more and being ‘irreplaceable’ may just escape you.
In the fashion sense, being different just means finding your very own relationship with clothes… a relationship that makes you look your best. Accentuate your good parts and hide the bad ones… we all have good and bad, even the most perfect body in the magazine has a good side… and a bad one… even if he or she is the only one aware of it.
Children are no different – mums, teach your kids from young to dress in clothes that make them look good and they will have the confidence you so desire for them.
If a T-shirt is too small, it does not matter that the tag says 9-10 and she is 9. If the cut is slim and she has a little tummy that still needs to find a way into teenage mode, dress her in a flowing fabric that won’t even touch her skin.
Teaching children to dress well for their body shapes is part of a parent’s responsibility. Often mums say, but they won’t allow me to dress them anymore… Why can parents be strict with what kids eat, but not with how they dress?
Society is cruel… your child will be judged by what he or she wears. Following the latest trend, blending in at the cost of not looking your best is just not worth it.
You can be appropriately ‘irreplaceable’ without anyone noticing that you are actually different, because what you wear makes you look and feel so good!
Young England, Ralph Lauren, Jacadi, Gap, Polo, Guess, Faded Glory, Petit Bateau… they arrived in their glorious gently-used state and just before we could get use to their lovely presence… they were gone.
Snapped up by customers without a second glance at the fact that they may have been worn a few times!
It’s a win-win hit! Now we need stock.
Clean, nearly new, beautiful branded items from your cupboards.
A customer bought two T-shirts for her grand kids for Valentine’s Day last week.
I thought this was so sweet – it took away the whole simplistic thought around Valentine Day.
Parents are confronted with hearts and more hearts and supposed candle light dinners and nights out without the children…
Maybe making the children part of Valentine without the emphasis of a secret love could turn this day into a general day of loving gestures.
It’s a day to show those we care about that they are remembered with a little extra love.
So if it’s a card or a T-shirt – don’t reserve your Valentine’s love for one special person only.
Your heart is bigger than that!