The market for wholesale dress shirts in Africa is very large. It ranges from consumers who purchase them for their fashion value, to consumers who purchase them for use in their office and government jobs. As African countries continue to experience growth in their middle class, and continue to enter the ranks of the upper tier of international trading countries, many Africans are taking on American and European fashion styles. One important apparel piece is the dress shirt, with a preference on brand names such as Kenneth Cole, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss.
If you would like to capitalize on the demand for designer name dress shirts in the African continent, you should consider the following tips.
Focus on the reason why your customers want to purchase dress shirts. Is your target market comprised of oil industry employees in Nigeria who need to conform to a corporate dress code, or are they university graduates in Botswana applying for their first jobs?
Gage the buying power of your potential customers. While they might love a brand new Lacoste dress shirt, can they afford it? You will want to ensure that you are purchasing at a wholesale price that will allow you to resell your closeout clothing at a reasonable profit margin. At the same time, do not underprice your overstock merchandise. You might be surprised at how much your customers are actually willing to spend on your items.
Research the styles that your local market likes. You can conduct research by walking around a shopping mall, visiting a corporate plaza, and looking through a fashion publication geared towards men.
Market your brand name office shirts based on the designer’s name, not on price. For example, if a businessman in Ghana simply wants the cheapest possible price for a shirt, he can buy a shirt imported from China. But if he is interested in a designer corporate shirt, you can be sure that he understands that it will cost him more.
Increase your clothing sales by offering free accessories along with ever purchase. You can give customers a free Calvin Klein belt with a purchase of 5 shirts, or a free INC necktie with a purchase of 3 shirts.
Attract more customers by turning your customers into your salespeople. You can offer your customers a 5% discount on their next purchase if they bring a customer with them, or even give them a commission for ever shopper that they bring to your clothing boutique.
Advertise well. Make sure your advertising is targeted. If you are selling clothing in Nigeria, for example to bankers, make sure to advertise your shop in a publication that is read by bankers, such as the Nigerian Tribune, or in an online publication such as the Vanguard Nigeria News.
Develop a wholesale business. As your customer base increases and you are looking for additional revenue, you should consider reselling your liquidation products to other boutiques and street vendors who in turn will have their own customer base. While you might make less per shirt on the wholesale end, you should be able to make a decent amount as your volume increases. To make sure this strategy can work, you will need to source merchandise directly from a legitimate exporter who has experience supplying closeout products to Africa.
You can visit the New York Fashion District, search online through WholesaleCentral.com, or you are welcome to contact me or visit my Brooklyn clothing warehouse.