Most of the time we tend to focus on the retail side of things. I guess it is common practice for people to settle for retail in business or entrepreneurship. Regardless, there are also great prospects in settling for wholesale business ideas. In Zimbabwe, there are several business opportunities that deal specifically with wholesale. One of the bonuses of doing wholesale is that you can branch off into or couple with retail as well. To give you an idea of what to consider, let us discuss 5 wholesale business opportunities in Zimbabwe that you can take up.
Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
This is one of the most common domains in Zimbabwe. FMCG comprises a long list of products such as processed foods, beverages, dry goods (e.g. sugar), cosmetics, candy, snacks, toiletries, and so much more. The FMCG space will always be open for more additions in Zimbabwe. Over the years I have noticed that no matter how many new players come in, they can still thrive. One of the keys to FMCG is coming in with products that are priced competitively. You can come in as a player solely focusing on a specific segment e.g. beverages. Most players tend to focus on several segments; the quest is to become a one-stop-shop.
This is another space that has become quite popular in Zimbabwe. There are now several players that are selling clothes at competitive wholesale prices. These players are even giving clothing boutiques a hard time. For instance, these wholesalers can sell items at more than 50 per cent less than boutique prices. Some boutique owners now source their stock from such wholesalers. The coming in of such wholesalers has made clothing relatively affordable for many Zimbabweans. Recently I was checking out a clothing wholesaler in Masvingo. Imagine for US$60 being able to purchase a winter jacket, 3 skinny jeans, and 3 golf t-shirts. These dynamics do also mean that clothing wholesale is becoming highly competitive in Zimbabwe. All the same, there are vast opportunities in this space with countless niching options.
This like FMCG is a broad and diverse segment. These are electronic items that are meant for daily usage. Consumer electronics include items such as mobile devices, smartphones, wearables, laptops, television sets, appliances, computers, and so on. More and more people are now selling these items. This is because an increasing number of people looking to buy them. Thus you can venture into the wholesale of such items. I know of a particular family business that is both into FMCG and consumer electronics in Masvingo. Just by looking at how rapidly their businesses have grown, you can tell these are lucrative lines of business.
This is yet another good segment given the many possible niches. Broadly there is crop production and then animal production. You can choose to do the actual production yourself or you can source and wholesale. Some of the common items I see being put up for wholesale are grains, potatoes, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, and the like – on the crop production side. Then there are meats, eggs, milk, and so on – on the animal production side.
There is a rising demand for wellness products in Zimbabwe. That is why some of the common network marketing drives involve wellness products. For instance, these can be products for weight management e.g. slimming or flat tummy teas or juice blends. This category also spans equipment and accessories used in wellness exercises. These are things like gym wear, equipment, and accessories, amongst others. You can get into wholesale because more and more retailers are looking to include wellness products in their stocks.
Wholesale, just like retail thrives on volumes and pricing, among other factors. You need to be able to push volumes and that is why pricing is key. This means you must explore where you can source your products cheaply. You also need to consider the supply chain dynamics. All this will enable you to have more room to price competitively. The wholesale space, depending on your niches, is highly competitive. For example, wholesale in the FMCG space is characterised by tough competition. There are already established players you would have to contend with.