Proudly SA brand launches on Amazon, already a hit in the UK market
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Johannesburg – What started as a local business’s dream to have their products stocked in every household, school and office in the nation has now turned into an international venture.
This as proudly South African self-adhesive products brand TOWER in May launched their range on Amazon, the world's largest online retailer and a prominent cloud services provider.
Since then, the local brand has achieved considerable success in the British online market, one of the most profitable e-commerce players.
Following their global expansion, the brand hopes that other South African companies can follow suit, particularly as they battle the challenging business terrain exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This move will give TOWER a boost as well as inspire fellow South African brands to brave the international online shopping space, especially within the United Kingdom,” CEO Stephen Beattie told The Saturday Star this week.
He explained that while TOWER’s offerings are now available to the global market, their roots are still firmly planted in South Africa.
“In the current digital age, we have been able to launch the Amazon business from our Cape Town headquarters, but having said that, I would never rule out the possibility of increasing our physical presence beyond South Africa.”
Beattie added that currently South Africa, is still their largest market and that they also have a footprint across eight other countries in Africa.
But their newfound success in the UK has taken their business to new heights, despite only launching on Amazon about a month ago.
“I am very encouraged by the initial sales,” Beattie said. “It is showing that, despite very tough competition, our product offering is unique and meets the needs of the UK consumer.”
TOWER currently employs more than 85 people across our Johannesburg, Cape Town, George and Durban operations.
But as they continue to take off in Europe and other nations, Beattie hopes to employ even more people.
“For now, I am comfortable that our current team is able to service Amazon, but as sales grow, we are expecting to invest in more resources and capacity.”
For their Amazon offering, TOWER has chosen the 30 best-selling range of school labels and stickers to sell which focus on encouragement and rewards.
“Acknowledgement of a job well done, or the encouragement to keep trying, are important affirmations to provide children when they are learning, and TOWER hopes they can spread joy and positivity to children and inspire other South African businesses to reach for success beyond the borders of South Africa,” Beattie said.
The product range selection was based on TOWER’s research, particularly of the UK market.
“It also involves the understanding of what educational professionals such as teachers and early childhood development specialists require,” the CEO said.
Beattie is aware that TOWER has just recently launched on Amazon, but he believes that his team’s commitment to the cause as well as their proactive approach to business will see them continue to be a South African success story.
“I believe our success is largely due to the dedication and persistence of our team members over many decades.”
“We have always been focused on creating high quality and innovative products that make life easier in businesses, schools and homes and by engaging with our consumers regularly, we understand what problems they have.”
“This helps us constantly develop meaningful products that benefit everyday consumers such as teachers, parents and those working in offices and warehouses.”
Beattie also conceded that the South African financial and business sector has been hard-hit by the global health crisis and subsequent lockdown.
But he believes that the digital sphere will allow them to not only survive but also prosper in the coming years as the country is full of hard-working and talented groups and individuals.
“I hope that it demonstrates to other South African companies that it’s possible to grow a business inside and outside of Africa. As a nation, we have the innate talent and will to overcome any obstacle, and our companies can compete on the global stage.”
On plans for TOWER’s future, Beattie’s business dream is simple: “Our vision is that TOWER products are used by people in every business, school and home around the world.”