MASERU — The expression from small beginnings come great things has proven true for Lesotho’s retail giant Life’s Comfort Solutions (LCS).
LCS began as a small cellphone dealership in 2001 operating six small kiosks in Maseru.
The company employed only eight individuals.
Now it has 146 employees.
The company has also grown into one of the most recognisable brands in the retail sector.
As English playwright William Shakespeare would say, the company now “bestride(s) the narrow world (Lesotho) like a Colossus”.
On Thursday LCS celebrated its re-launch at its latest branch at the Pioneer Shopping Centre in Maseru.
The ceremony was attended by members of staff, shareholders and invited guests.
Speaking at the ceremony, LCS chief executive officer Wessel Nolte said the company came from humble beginnings.
Nolte said “it was a privilege to head the company” because of the support he had received from the staff and shareholders since the company began operations nine years ago.
“Our staff remain the key to our success and it is their commitment and that of management that has driven the growth that we have achieved over the years,” he said.
“At LCS, we are here to show you what retailing is all about.”
LCS was an initiative of 12 local investors who came together in May 2001 as a cellphone dealership operating six kiosks in Maseru.
Nolte said the business took off the ground in October 2001 after the company won a tender to become the local agent for South Africa-based satellite television service provider MultiChoice.
LCS now operates seven stores in five districts namely Maseru, Mohale’s Hoek, Mafeteng, Berea and Leribe.
Nolte said the company had consistently registered an annual turnover of over two percent over the past eight years, which was a phenomenal growth for a small company.
“Our focus is on quality merchandise and good service to our customers,” Nolte said.
LCS chairman Danny Bothma said their company had not been spared from the effects of the 2008 global financial meltdown.
Bothma however said the effects on Lesotho were rather subdued as compared to the rest of the world.
“The recession also affected us at LCS but we continued with our expansion programme,” he said.
“It is a good time to expand (at such times) so that when the economy catches up you are already there.”
Bothma said the company was committed to offering good customer care which he said was the secret to the company’s success.
He said the company was planning to consolidate its operations and expand the project in the next “two to three years”.
“For the business to survive, one must always look out for opportunities and never give up until the set goals are fulfilled,” he said.
LCS general manager Vannesa Paulsen said the company strives to provide in-house training to employees to ensure they provide quality service to customers at all times.
“We have sent 12 members of staff to the University of South Africa for merchandising courses,” she said.
“We continue to train members of staff to improve their performance and personal development.”
Paulsen told the guests the shop located at the Pioneer Shopping Centre was one of their largest ones.