Will introduce e-shopping with cash on delivery; initiative to focus on international markets

To attract more customers and give competition a run for their money, the Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society, (Co-optex), is all set to go online.

With their sales volume steadily on the rise, Co-optex is also looking at focusing on the international market through this initiative.

As a first step towards its online retailing facility – e-shopping, Co-optex will introduce the sale of products online through a ‘cash on delivery’ mode. Customers will be able to select from a variety of products, including cotton and silk saris, shirts and fabric. Sources said the online facility is set to be launched in five to six months.

Over the last four-and-a-half-months, the Society has generates sales revenues of Rs. 39 crore for the current financial year, as against Rs. 32 crore during the same period last year. This is both due to aggressive marketing, and the introduction of schemes such as Pazhassukku Pudhusu (exchanging old saris for new ones) and Kanavu Nanavu Thittam.

Under the Kanavu Nanavu Thittam, Co-optex allows customers to buy handloom products through a ten-month savings scheme. Since April, nearly 30,000 people have enrolled in it, as against the initial target of 50,000.

Under this scheme, officials said, a customer could pay any amount starting from Rs. 100 as a monthly instalment for nine months. Co-optex would bear the final instalment and customers could buy products from any showroom. They would also get a bonus which will be 58 per cent of their total deposit, as Co-optex would provide an interest. For instance, when a customer pays Rs. 1,000 as a monthly instalment, he or she would be able to purchase products worth Rs. 14, 286.

M. Tulasi, a regular customer, said: “I generally postpone buying some products as they are not affordable for a one-time purchase. This scheme will help me buy even expensive handloom items.”

In Chennai, nearly 3,600 people have joined the scheme and invested to a tune of Rs. 14.5 lakh. Coimbatore and Cuddalore regions have also attracted a large number of customers. Across Tamil Nadu, the scheme has attracted an investment of nearly Rs. 91 lakh since April. Plans are afoot to allow customers to remit their monthly instalments online for the scheme.

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