By 1000hrs every morning, hordes of unemployed Zimbabweans trying to make ends meet flood the Central Business District (CBD) of Harare to sell and advertise products of various corporates including banks, telecommunication companies and retail shops among others.
These and many other informal traders selling virtually everything from traditional herbs, foodstuffs, second hand clothing and fruits among other wares have helped carry the Zimbabwe flag higher as the country is now on first runner up position after Bolivia when it comes to informalized economies in the world according to International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Corporates who for long have never taken the informal sector seriously appear to have warmed up to it and have also invaded the streets, filling the already congested streets of Harare.
With their Brand Ambassadors, banks, funeral assurance and telecoms among others have pitched up tents at roads such as Julius Nyerere, Speke Avenue and Cameroon Street among others offering all sorts of services.
Even registered businesses have migrated to the streets as revealed by some shop owners who spoke to 263Chat saying they are giving half of their stock to street vendors because it sells faster on there.
“I have been forced to employ someone to sell from the streets after realizing that i can’t afford to wait for people to come in here and buy stuff because it may never happen” said a female shop owner renting a space in Rado Arts.
Without having to grapple for monies to rent a space or tax charges, retails from streets are way cheaper than those from super markets hence customer preference for the street shops.
From the looks of it, though marketing theories may assume otherwise, vending and touting is the most effective form of marketing, with Zimbabwe as case study.