Rediscovering local textile talentApril 26th, 2012 by Susan Reynard | Categories: Press Office
Over the last few years, many large local retailers, hospitality groups and interior decorators turned to the Far East in search of cheaper decor furnishing textiles, and a number of local textile companies, unable to compete with cheaper imports, were forced to close their factories.
But one decor furnishing textile company, Renecap, the holding company that trades under the brand name, 8th Avenue Trading, remained committed to the local industry and to the country and has emerged from the turmoil stronger than ever before, with a wider selection of exceptional quality textiles that are 100% locally produced – ensuring that local retailers and hospitality groups can rediscover the value and competitive offerings available on their doorstep.
“In line with government’s drive to increase local procurement and given the closing of the price gap between local and imported textiles, as well as the flight to quality that is a fast-growing global trend, local buyers have an opportunity to reconsider their buying strategies and to find that companies such as 8th Avenue Trading offer great quality at affordable prices, right here on their doorstep,” says Granville Essafrau, owner of 8th Avenue Trading, a family-owned and proudly South African business, which has, for the past 40 years, manufactured and supplied diverse top-end decor furnishing textiles to the local and international retail and hospitality industries, as well as to the international furnishing, décor and accessory market.
“Local companies are now rediscovering what many other discerning markets overseas realised some time ago: the quality of substantially discounted, mass-produced decor furnishing textiles often leaves much to be desired, particularly when it comes to authentic and innovative African designs,” comments Essafrau. “We believe that our unwavering commitment to absolute quality has been the reason behind 8th Avenue Trading’s exceptional growth during some of the toughest years in the history of the local industry.”
Instead of succumbing to the temptation of simply closing up the factory and importing low-cost textiles to sell at a higher price, 8th Avenue Trading adopted a different strategy. “Our strategy involved vertical integration and closer ties with local sources to allow us to buy, spin and dye the yarns in-house. We invested in state-of-the art machinery and established our own design facility, working closely with a talented and skilled team. We also employed more people and trained them rigorously,” explains Essafrau. “As a result, we have access to new types of yarns, including micro-fibres, and the equipment and skills to transform these into exciting new textures and textiles that in some cases are better than international quality standards that interior decorators and other decor furnishing textile buyers are now inspired by. In addition, we can create and innovate authentic African designs across a range of product lines, as well as unique designs for specific brands and groups – something Far East countries and other mass-producers cannot offer.”
This strategy allowed 8th Avenue Trading to tap into the burgeoning global demand for Anglo-African designs and colours in décor and resulted in the company establishing itself in a niche in the global decor furnishing textile market, exporting to an international client base extending to the USA, Europe, Australasia and the rest of Africa. “As a result, our distribution channels – countrywide and globally – are structured to international standards. In fact, we recently had an opportunity in the US to test our capabilities and prove that we are equipped to handle orders in excess of R1 million with ease,” comments Essafrau.
Despite this global success, 8th Avenue Trading also retains a niche market share in South Africa, which they expect to grow exponentially in the future. As local buyers reconsider their buying strategies, Essafrau offers some useful advice: “While buyers may not immediately recognise the value of selecting a decor furnishing textile manufacturer with its own dedicated factory featuring weaving, dyeing and in-house design facilities, as well as dedicated and talented textile team, this offers the buyer some significant advantages. These include the ability to craft unique and exclusive designs and to turn new concepts into a range of product lines; flexibility in terms of re-orders and minimum orders on specially-designed products; as well as sufficient stock, continuity and quicker turn-around times, since there is no risk of shipping delays or strikes often associated with importing.”
Essafrau is positive about the future of the local decor furnishing textile industry. “We are confident that many South Africa businesses will soon realise that companies such as 8th Avenue Trading can offer them far more than the cheap, mass-produced products they have been subjected to and will choose to channel their textile-spend to support their local industry and to drive money back into the South African economy. We are set to increase our current production allowing us to employ additional people.”
For more information pertaining to 8th Avenue Trading, please visit www.8thavenue.co.za or call 011 803 6504.