New ecommerce fashion platform StyleMode launches during Covid-19

Loot.co.za CFO Shakeerah Diedericks: This is a golden opportunity to enter an active market space.

StyleMode, a new ecommerce fashion platform, has launched in South Africa. Powered by Loot.co.za, StyleMode enters the market with a range of brands across apparel, footwear and accessories, at a price point that will suit the current markets.

Loot.co.za CFO Shakeerah Diedericks says:

“The business case behind a fashion ecommerce platform is more complex than our existing core business, due to the large financial decisions being taken upfront and fashion planning many months ahead of the launch. The outflow of capital happens many months before the products land on our virtual shelves.”

This process, she explains, was compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, as customers’ buying behaviours were changing all the time. “However, our faith in our staff and their ability has provided a golden opportunity for us to enter an active market space and grow our reach. It is a testament to the whole team within the new division of StyleMode and Loot.co.za that even working remotely, we have been able to create and develop what we believe to be a solid strategy that will lead to a sustainable and successful business, despite the pandemic and uncertain economic times.”

She adds that the business case to launch this brand, at this time, is supported by the rapid shift to ecommerce brought about by lockdown, as well as the upcoming summer season, and by leveraging on Loot.co.za’s existing structure, partnerships and group entities.

The launch of the new platform comes as South Africa starts easing out of the hard lockdown that was set in place to curb the spread of Covid-19. And while businesses across the country are closing shop, this fashion platform is only getting started.

Loot.co.za CEO Greg le Roux says:

“StyleMode has been on the cards for a while now, as there has long been a gap in the market for an additional fashion platform to challenge the established players in this space. Although Covid-19 has slowed down certain aspects of the economy, we have been heartened by the rapid transition of the South African buying public to online retail brought about by enforced lockdowns, which augurs well for this new business.”

He explains that choosing to launch StyleMode now is not only about creating a commercial advantage for the upcoming summer season, but a “commitment to the brands and suppliers we have formed relationships with over the months of developing the business and building the platform, and who deserve the support in what is still a challenging economic environment”.

The new platform comes with an expert fashion pedigree, which has been developed and curated by Shereen Conrad and Nishai Sookdhew, both respected and experienced professionals in the fashion ecommerce world.

StyleMode is also the first fashion platform in South Africa to launch with four of its own private label collections: StyleMode, Miss Mode, La Mode, and ModeCurve. These labels will be manufactured in Cape Town, by predominantly women-owned businesses.

Loot, which itself has seen a sharp increase in traffic and sales in 2020, will provide the backbone, infrastructure and payment options for the new platform, including direct deposit for those without credit card or online activated debit cards. StyleMode will also use Loot’s warehousing and logistics and its marketing expertise.