However, with dollarization which has seen a somehow stabilisation of the economy, some of the shops have reintroduced the credit facility.
In Harare, Edgars, one of the largest retail shop in the country, said they were now offering credit facilities. Under the new credit facility, a consumer pays a quarter as deposit for the wares he or she intends to buy. “After paying the 25 percent deposit, a customer has to clear the balance in three months and one good thing about this facility is that there is no interest on balance,” said an employee at an Edgars outlet in the capital’s central business district.
There are not much hassles for those who intend to open an account.
“What we need is a current payslip, showing that your earnings are in US dollar, Rand or Pound denomination, a proof of residence in some instances and three referees." “It takes less than 24 hours for us to open an account for you,” added the employee.
He also said the decision to use multiple currencies had in fact revived the stuttering industry which was on the verge of collapse.
“You would reckon that before the introduction of multiple currencies, we received the local unit and it was a headache as we were required to constantly change prices. However, things came to a head in last year when we were required to change prices at least twice a day. Unfortunately, the impact of the high inflation environment saw us closing some of our outlets. If things continue like this, then we will definitely reopen some of them or look for new space,” he added.
There were other problems though as the local industry was facing competition from cheap products. As such, the local industry wanted some sort of protection or else they would be found stuttering once again.
Some shops have also started offering lay bye facilities before reintroducing credit facilities. Lay byes are meant to attract those who may not have the requirements to open a credit with shops such as Edgars. It is also a secure way of making sure that the customer would not default especially at a time when the industry is still to fully stabilise.
Apart from the cheap imports, Edgars said they hoped that civil servants, who used to be their biggest customers have more disposable incomes.