A new online shopping business which uses global sourcing to bring more than half a million branded goods to South Africans at cheaper prices, plans to challenge the supply and pricing paradigm of the country’s retail sector.
Allsale Club is a members-only online shopping business which aims to save consumers money on everything from everyday branded items from batteries, razors, and cleaning products to luxury items such as fashion, fragrances, cosmetics and watches.
Led by co-founder and e-commerce veteran Justin Drennan and co-founder and CEO Michelle Lehrer, allsale.co.za has the benefit of experience garnered from two of South Africa’s leading e-commerce market players, online shopping website Wantitall and full-service fulfilment and distribution facility ParcelNinja.
Drennan said allsale.co.za leveraged existing Wantitall and Parcel Ninja processes, infrastructure and IT development, translating into a fully functioning supply chain from launch.
“Allsale Club works with suppliers around the world to bring more than half a million products to South Africans, many of which are not currently available on local shelves,” said Lehrer. With a members-only approach, the business model is driven by membership fees and not margins. “This means we pass great prices on to our members and we have developed internal incentives based on decreasing margins.”
“We believe we are launching at a great time for consumers, as value businesses thrive in a recessionary environment. We are everyday value and everyday great prices. We won’t bombard members with promotions, we want to build trust that our best prices are always what members pay. Technology and the marketplace have met and the result is Allsale Club. “We plan to disrupt retail sales in South Africa by using a business model similar to that of Costco, the American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs around the world. They stand for quality at great prices, and this is what we will deliver to Allsale Club’s members.”
Membership is via a monthly fee starting at R79, with no contracts, lock-in periods or cancellation fees. “Many of our members will save more than the monthly fee in just one purchase. As our membership base, grows, the better our purchasing power to seek out great offers and exclusive buys for members,” Lehrer said.
Key success metrics for the business will be membership growth and margin deflation, contrary to normal business models.
Shopping categories include health and beauty, baby and toddler, toys, fashion, homewares, household and consumables.
“In apparel alone, we offer 500 international brands currently not available in South Africa, and more than 250 in the cosmetics and hair care categories,” Lehrer said. While other items may already be available locally, members will benefit from everyday low prices without having to wait for sales or promotions.”
The site handles all import related charges including duties and offers free returns. “We’ve made our business transparent for customers - the price you see online is the price you pay, including VAT, with no hidden customs duties.”
www.allsale.co.za went live on September 2.