The South African premium and gift market

Interview with Lisa Kusevitsky from Peg Gift in South Africa

Henk : Lisa, Your company is one of , or maybe now THE main actor in South Africa for quality premiums and gifts. I know you’re in the business since many years as we meet at many important international tradeshows like HKfair, PPAI and PSI. Please give some short feedback about yourself and your company, when you started in Premium and gift business, etc.
Lisa : Premium Executive Gifts was started in February 1997 and will be celebrating our 10th anniversary early in the new year. Before that my partner, Maureen Pitt started Pitt Promotions in 1989 and we have therefore been in the business since that time, sourcing stock from other importers. This led us to start importing our own range which is growing all the time. We are constantly sourcing new and innovative quality corporate gifts for our clients and we keep stock of these. We also specialise in sourcing specific items in large quantities for special projects.

Henk : Can you describe the structure of your local Premium and Gift market? How many distributors are active? Are there many importers keeping stock of gifts and premiums? Which are the “active” cities?
Lisa : We are based in Cape Town and there are only 2 corporate gift importers here. However, there are a number of much larger companies based in Johannesburg who keep very high levels of stock and who also draw from stock kept in Holland and the United Kingdom with 2 week delivery lead times.

Henk : Is the South African Market similar to the US or EU markets product wise? Do you sell in SA the same type of products as people do in US and Europe? Is there a type of products particularly popular In SA? Do you have any precise figures about sales volumes?
Lisa : Unfortunately I do not have figures on sales volumes but we do follow the European and American markets. There is a large market in South Africa for African products and incentives to buy South African manufactured products but we do not keep stock of these items. At present computer-related items are very popular and trendy but we also have a high demand for outdoor products as our climate is extremely good here.

Henk : I know it’s difficult, but what is the market share of locally produced items, Chinese import and US or EU imports? How do you feel about this?
Lisa : I cannot answer this at all – we only import from EU and Asian countries. The locally produced items cannot be supplied quickly as they are mostly handmade and rely on intensive labour resources so delivery times are slow on large volumes.

Henk : In a few last words, how do you think the South African market of premiums and gifts will evaluate in the next years?
Lisa : The market is growing annually as can be seen from our turnover but there is a growing trend towards using local manufacturers to create more employment. However, I feel that there is still a lot of potential in the South African market as more foreign investors are coming into this country.

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Thanks Lisa for your time !