Orange will open a local warehouse to support the sale of products (smartphones, tablets, computers, gadgets and accessories) from its online store in May this year.

The warehouse will be located in Sunninghill, in Johannesburg, and will replace London as the service hub for the SADC region.

The Orange warehouse hub in London serviced both the European and South African markets since the start of the launch of various online stores from January 2013.

Due to the larger than expected growth of the South African online store, Orange confirms that it will launch further online stores for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. All online store sales within the SADC region will be serviced from the regional hub in Johannesburg.

Sebastien Crozier, CEO of Orange Horizons, states: “The adoption of the Orange online store since it launched in South Africa in January 2013 has exceeded all expectations, and makes this hub a necessity.

“It will allow for faster delivery of products to the local market, and further confirms Oranges commitment to the South African and SADC regions. It will negate time requirements for customer clearance, and will enhance the customer click-to-delivery service experience.”

Orange also expects good demand from operators in the SADC region. The store will generate several million euros in sales this year, says Crozier. We think it’s going to be an opportunity to develop our business and our turnover and to settle Johannesburg as a local hub. It’s also an opportunity for us to offer a large range of products, with devices you don’t find very easily locally.”

Orange states that the establishment of the warehouse is one of many planned initiatives, many of which will launch later this year and into 2015.

This is in addition to the WiFi project, that is currently running with African Eagle Tourism in Cape Town, and which will soon be extended to other tourism hubs in South Africa; the global Top-Up service which allows for easy, secure and online voice and data top-up transfers across boarders; as well as the existing Orange Online Store and Orange online video content portal through DailyMotion.

“It is very important that Orange becomes recognised as local. Orange is local, local, local – the warehouse, the Online Store and the Country Manager are all situated within South Africa,” concludes Crozier.