These are not the best of times for Jumia, a Nigerian online shopping site which retails a wide range of products from electronics and households to fashion, kiddies’ items and lots more. The company recently hit by cash crunch, dwindling patronage and subtle internal managerial unrest has sacked 250 of its workforce with a majority of the remaining employees compelled to take a pay cut.
Jumia staff kept sealed lips over the matter but our investigations showed that the decision to lay off staff was inevitable as the retail firm had been running on shoe strings in recent months after it made waves in its early days. Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia put total Jumia staff strength at 1800.
Jumia debuted in Nigeria as an e-commerce startup tailored after Amazon of the United States and it made a huge success in the early days by delivering a wide range of items, from toys to generators across the Africa.
Propelled by its success in Nigeria, JUMIA launched warehouses in four other African countries. As of 2015, Jumia has warehouses in ten countries in and out of Africa, including: Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, United Kingdom, Tanzania and Angola.
It is not immediately known what caused the economic distress in Jumia at a time internet usage among the youth population in Africa and e-commerce are reportedly on the rise. Recent studies by global ICT analysts and search engines suggest a growing penetration of e-commerce in Africa known among ICT buffs including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the world’s fastest growing market in contemporary market ratings.
In 2013, Jumia received $35 million in Series B funding from Millicom to contribute towards its expansion in its domestic market. This created a buzz and bounce for the firm and it facilitated its move into a new 90,000 square foot warehouse located in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. It ended the year strongly by winning the title of the Best New Retail Launch.
In 2014, Jumia extended its services to Uganda enabling people to shop online and have products delivered to this region.
In October 2012, JUMIA Egypt announced its partnership with Mobinil, an Egyptian telecommunication company. The partnership agreement consists of four main rules which include: Mobinil providing JUMIA offices and staff with the latest mobile technology solutions specifically tailored for their business needs, JUMIA’s provision of Mobinil with products and services to each of the 140 retail stores spread all across Egypt, JUMIA offering products of Mobinil to their customers, and JUMIA offering special rewards for Mobinil customers through the use of a loyalty program.
On 26 August 2013, JUMIA launched a mobile application that enables customers to make purchases on the online store from anywhere. The mobile application offers a selection of 50,000 products.
Source: Political Economist