Business News of 2014-01-02

Nallem Clothing dares into other markets

Ghanaian clothes maker, Nallem Clothing, is by far a household name, but its insatiable promoters are pushing harder to get the brand across the borders of the country.

Already in several regions in Ghana, Nallem is noted for its chic styles, exquisite designs and faultless seams. The enterprise’s next stop is the fledgling market where all businesses are clamouring to have a head start – Monrovia, Liberia.

Sales Executive at Nallem, Ms Angela Gli, recently told the Daily Graphic that its search radar for new markets in the sub-region had fallen on Liberia, the country in transition, which is fast picking up the pieces from the rubble.

Nallem Clothing, which was established in 1997 by designer and current chief executive of the firm, Mr Gregory A. Kankoh, is bent on opening a branch in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, in 2014 to make the brand more visible.

“We hope to be here next year. We’ve already had meetings with some potential wholesalers and we will follow up to be physically present,” Ms Gli told the Daily Graphic.

Already, the firm has stockists (showrooms) in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Senegal, USA, Canada, Australia and Tanzania.

Liberia is in transition trying to rebuild its economy, after long years of civil war which had left the local economy without investment and growth for a long time.

Each Liberian has accepted the fact that laborious work lies ahead and the urgent need to be serious and rebuilt the country and economy has dawned on them.

This has given rise to several opportunities in the construction and real estate industry, hotel and hospitality, agriculture, auto works, as well as commerce, as many countrymen and women return from exile to initiate a new beginning. Growth in these sectors means high demand for clothing and fashion. Liberians are already fashion lovers and love to dress chicly.

Ms Gli said the company was in Liberia participating in the Solo Made in Ghana exhibition – put together by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Association of Ghana Industries – with an objective to establish contacts with a few wholesalers and clients in that country.

Although Nallem commands price due to its veritable designs and fabric quality, the designer intends to make the cost affordable to fit every pocket.

Currently, the clothing firm employs 143 workers, including 109 in production. It also offers internship to fashion students from the various polytechnics and other fashion design training institutions.

“This is key to our strategy of developing skills for the growth of the fashion industry,” Mr Kankoh told the Daily Graphic.

Head of Public Relations at GEPA and exhibition officer, Mrs Gifty Otoo, expressed satisfaction at the solo exhibition in Monrovia and said lessons learnt would be incorporated in the next fair.

She said the GEPA used a multimedia approach to whip up interest in the exhibition, taking cues from a previous edition in which the venue itself was tucked away from the city centre, making it difficult to attract patronage.

However, the November 28 to December 4 exhibition, held at the Monrovia City Hall, attracted very high patronage to the satisfaction of majority of the more than 35 exhibitors.