Armed with a niche business strategy targeting rural and semi urban communities, Laduma Hardware (Laduma) expects significant growth in a number of their stores supplying hardware products to millions of South Africans wishing to build homes.
The number of stores within the group has grown from one outlet in 1996, to 15 with the opening of a flagship store situated in Lebowakgomo, South East of Polokwane. The 12 900m2 store, one of the biggest in the North, signals Laduma’s intentions to dominate the hardware retail market using location, fair pricing and a commitment to local communities to drive expansion.
Paul Oosthuizen, chief executive officer at Laduma Hardware, says: “We have enjoyed consistent growth of approximately 5.6% in annual earnings, with 28% of our sales stemming from cement, the base product with which to start building. Our experience within rural communities indicates this is followed by a lifecycle of consumer spend. We believe our business strategy of investment in the local community is the cement on which to build our future growth.”
Within the next three to five years, Laduma has an aggressive development strategy in the pipeline expanding into southern Africa. “The strategy is good for business and for local communities we serve by creating employment opportunities, providing access to good quality hardware products at good prices thus assisting communities to live in homes built with dignity. We also pride ourselves on the ongoing training and mentoring programmes we run for our staff encouraging them to grow into informed, customer focused employees,” he adds.
Laduma’s business growth and sustainability is driven by three imperatives – comprehensive staff training; deep understanding of the customer base and a commitment to community development.
“Supporting the community is about more than the odd good deed, it is part of our business culture. By providing on-going training, employing local people and creating new suppliers of support services, we are narrowing the gap between business and people.” Oosthuizen concludes.
Established in 1996 Laduma Hardware’s, vision is to bring affordable building materials and hardware to the rural communities of South Africa. The first locations were built close to villages in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, these locations were chosen due to the lack of accessibility to hardware and build ware in the area. By expanding their footprint, Laduma remains on their chosen path of creating jobs within communities, leading to less migration to the larger cities and keeping family units together.