BY NIHAT DELIBASI
With a history of over 100 years in the leather industry, Sepiciler has started sales on the world’s leading online shopping sites. The company decided to increase its product variety in response to the demand for handicrafts it received through the e-commerce company it established in the U.S. Sepiciler also started works to meet the demand from Russia and Japan.
Mehmet Sepici, Sepiciler Chairman of the Board, stated that they have made a strong start to 2020 but suffered some losses later in the year. “We slowed down production during the 3-month lockdown in Europe but never ceased operations. We switched to regular production in September. Thanks to the measures we took, we closed the year with a tolerable loss of 10-15%. We are not pessimistic for 2021,” said Sepici.
Sepici underlined that the time spent on hobbies has increased with people spending more time indoors during the pandemic. “E-commerce sites are important platforms in the U.S. We established a company in the U.S. to sell on those platforms. In addition to the therapeutic effects of working on leather as a hobby, some people buy leather, work it as a saddle in their garage and sell it for USD 5,000. It was an unexpected demand. Turnover in this area increased by 200% within a year. We will operate the same way in Russia and Japan, where we also receive high demand. However, in these two countries, we will respond to requests from hobby shops as well as on the internet,” he said. Sepici also stated that they value international fairs and customer visits. “The pandemic has changed fairs with many of them being conducted virtually. Following Hong Kong and India, we have prepared our stand in our Torbali, Caybasi factory for the South Africa fair. Foreseeing the development of this business, we transformed a special section, which we equipped with cameras and other equipment in-house, into an area that can be used for virtual fairs 24/7 for 12 months. Thus, we will be able to hold at least four meetings with our customers whom we could only visit twice a year. We will have the opportunity to introduce our new products straight away,” Sepici said.